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OPRA & FERPA
What is the Open Public Records Act (OPRA)?
OPRA is the State statute that replaces the old “Right to Know Law” which governs the public’s access to government records in New Jersey. The law is compiled in the statutes as N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq.
Specifically, OPRA is intended to:
What is a Government Record?
OPRA specifically defines a government record as:“… any paper, written or printed book, document, drawing, map, plan, photograph, microfilm, data processed or image processed document, information stored or maintained electronically or by sound-recording or in a similar device, or any copy thereof, that has been made, maintained
Generally stated, a “government record” means any record that has been made, maintained, or kept on file in the course of official business, or that has been received in the course of official business.
Exemptions to government records include, but are not limited to:
To read a full text version of the Open Public Records act, including all exemptions, please visit the following website: OPRA Information
Who May File an OPRA Request?
Anyone. Although OPRA specifically references “citizens of this State,” (N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1) the Attorney General’s Office advises that OPRA does not prohibit access to Rowan records to residents of other states.
To file an OPRA request, and view additional information, please use the following link: OPRA Request Form
What is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.
FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children's education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are "eligible students."
Can a School Release Educational Information Without Consent?
Generally, schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student's education record. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions (34 CFR § 99.31):
To read additional information on FERPA, please visit the following website: FERPA Information