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 Post subject: Secretary Spellings Announces New Guidance
PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 12:49 am 

Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 7:05 pm
Posts: 261
Location: Pennsylvania
Secretary Spellings Announces New Guidance to Improve Emergency Preparedness in Schools, Joins Secretaries Chertoff and Gutierrez to Praise Fairfax County for Its Emergency Preparedness Efforts

New brochures offer guidance on Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

FOR RELEASE:
October 30, 2007

U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings today joined U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos M. Gutierrez to commend Mt. Vernon High School in Alexandria, Va., and Fairfax County for the work the community is doing to equip schools with the knowledge and capability to prepare for and respond to emergencies and natural disasters.

Following a demonstration of the Fairfax County Public Schools emergency preparedness model, Secretaries Spellings, Chertoff and Gutierrez held a press conference, where Secretary Spellings announced the availability of new brochures that provide guidance on the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) to enable schools to better balance students' privacy rights with school safety concerns.

"Nothing is more important to Americans than the safety of their children, and the guidance we are making available today will help make America's schools safer," said Secretary Spellings. "FERPA is not intended to be an obstacle to school safety, and the brochures will enable parents, teachers and administrators to safeguard students in our education system."

In the wake of the Virginia Tech tragedy, President Bush asked Secretary Spellings, Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt and former Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez to conduct a listening tour across the country with educators, first responders, parents and others to address concerns related to emergency preparedness and school safety. Several recurring themes were heard across the country, including the need for additional guidance on the FERPA, the federal law that protects the privacy of students' education records.

In response, the U.S. Department of Education developed three new guides: one for K-12 educators, one for higher education officials and one for parents. The FERPA brochures for school officials include contact information for obtaining additional guidance and assistance. Understanding the law empowers school officials to act quickly and decisively when problems arise. These guides will further the collection of key emergency management resources available from the U.S. Department of Education to help schools and institutions of higher education plan for, respond to and recover from a serious incident. The guides, accompanied by a letter and handout on emergency management resources, were sent today to schools, school boards, associations and others nationwide.

The new FERPA guidance and brochures are available online at http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ ... feschools/.

Brochures can be ordered from the U.S. Department of Education's Publications Center (ED Pubs) by calling (toll free) 1-877-433-7827 or e-mailing edpubs@inet.ed.gov.

Balancing Student Privacy and Campus Safety: A Guide to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act for Colleges and Universities (ED003905H)
Balancing Student Privacy and School Safety: A Guide to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act for Elementary and Secondary Schools (ED003906H)
Parents' Guide to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act: Rights Regarding Your Children's Education Records (ED003907H)

The letter and handout on emergency management resources are available online at http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/secletter/071030.html.


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