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Forum Guide to Protecting the Privacy of Student Information: State and Local Education Agencies

2.F. Resources for Interpreting Federal Laws That Protect the Privacy of Education Records

A number of private and public agencies monitor federal activity on privacy and confidentiality issues. The contact information provided below is accurate as of the date of this publication:

Several federal offices can respond to questions. First, the U.S. Department of Education can assist in interpreting FERPA and PPRA, and respond to complaints, on a case-by-case basis, about the interpretation or application of these laws through the:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue SW
Washington, DC 20202–5901
(202) 260–3887 (phone)
(202) 260–9001 (fax) (e-mail) (web site)

The Office of Management and Budget's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) oversees the implementation of other federal privacy laws, such as the Privacy Act, and coordinates regulatory review, paperwork reduction, statistical policy and information policy in the federal government. The web site of OIRA is at

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services address inquiries about HIPAA’s Administrative Simplification provisions, including electronic transactions and code sets, security, unique identifiers, and privacy. They can be reached at:

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
7500 Security Boulevard
Baltimore MD 21244–1850
(866) 282–0659 (toll-free hotline) (e-mail) (web site)

The Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services addresses inquiries about HIPAA’s Privacy Rule. They can be reached at:

Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue SW
Room 509F, HHH Building
Washington, DC 20201
(800) 368–1019 (toll-free hotline) (e-mail) (web site)

Other national groups have organized to monitor and interpret privacy implications of federal laws about education, health, and social services for children. The American School Health Association, in collaboration with the National Association of School Nurses and the National Association of State School Nurse Consultants, published a document in 2000 that is a counterpart of these Privacy Guidelines in the context of school health records. The document, entitled Guidelines for Protecting Confidential Student Health In formation, provides a wealth of recommendations specifically concerned with navigating a course through conflict obligations. They can be reached at:

American School Health Association
7263 State Route 43
P.O. Box 708
Kent, OH 44240
(330) 678–1601 (phone) (web site)

The Council of School Attorneys, housed in the National School Boards Association, is a membership organization of affiliate state councils, consisting of over 3,000 attorneys nationwide, who work to improve the practice of school law and prevent lawsuits against public schools. They can be reached at:

Council of School Attorneys
c/o National School Boards Association
1680 Duke Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 838–6722 (phone) (web site)