Every child in New York deserves access to quality education. As a parent, advocating for your child’s educational needs is among your most important priorities, especially if your child has special needs.
A child’s educational records provide important information about their educational needs and how the school plans to meet those needs. With this in mind, parents often ask about their rights related to their child’s educational records.
Access to records
New York law provides that parents generally have the right to review records about their child’s education. A school district ordinarily must provide access to a child’s records within a reasonable time, which in no case can be more than 45 days after a parent requests access.
A parent must also be allowed access to a child’s records before any meeting about the child’s individualized education plan or before a due process hearing related to the child’s special education needs.
While parents have a right to access records related to their child, a parent generally cannot access records or portions of records related to other children.
Corrections or explanations
A parent also has the right to ask a school district to modify information in school records that is inaccurate, misleading or violates the privacy of a student.
Parents also have the right to request the destruction of most records that are no longer needed to provide educational services to your child, although there are exceptions that allow districts to maintain records for longer periods.
If a school district refuses to honor a parent’s request for changes, the parent has the right to a hearing before a district official, who must provide a written explanation of any decision to not change a record.
Finally, every child has the right to privacy in their educational records. Unless a parent consents or the release of records is required by law, a student’s records should only be released to school staff who have a legitimate purpose for accessing the record.
If you have concerns about your child’s education or educational records, you should consult a knowledgeable attorney for advice about your rights and potential avenues for relief.