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May 7, 1999

Ms. Jennifer Lehman
Escamilla & Poneck, Inc.
1200 South Texas Building
603 Navarro Street
San Antonio, Texas 78205-1826

OR99-1249

Dear Ms. Lehman:

You ask whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 124258.

The San Antonio Independent School District (the "district"), which you represent, received a request for a certain class roster. You seek our opinion on the applicability of 20 U.S.C. 1232(g), the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act ("FERPA"), to these records. You have supplied the responsive information for our review.

In Open Records Decision No. 634 (1995), this office concluded: (1) an educational agency or institution may withhold from public disclosure information that is protected by FERPA and excepted from required public disclosure by sections 552.026 and 552.101 without the necessity of requesting an attorney general decision as to those exceptions, and (2) an educational agency or institution that is state-funded may withhold from public disclosure information that is excepted from required public disclosure by section 552.114 as a "student record," insofar as the "student record" is protected by FERPA, without the necessity of requesting an attorney general decision as to that exception. We remind you that this ruling applies only to "education records" under FERPA. "Education records" are records that

(i) contain information directly related to a student; and

(ii) are maintained by an educational agency or institution or by a person acting for such agency or institution.

20 U.S.C. 1232g(a)(4)(A). See also Open Records Decision Nos. 462 (1987), 447 (1986).

Information must be withheld from required public disclosure under FERPA only to the extent "reasonable and necessary to avoid personally identifying a particular student." Open Records Decision Nos. 332 (1982), 206 (1978). In this case, the responsive information appears to consist of student records that are subject to FERPA and therefore must not be released. If you have further questions as to the applicability of FERPA to information that is the subject of an open records request, you may consult with the United States Department of Education's Family Policy Compliance Office. See Open Records Decision No. 634 (1995).

We are resolving this matter with an informal letter ruling rather than with a published open records decision. This ruling is limited to the particular records at issue under the facts presented to us in this request and should not be relied upon as a previous determination regarding any other records. If you have questions about this ruling, please contact our office.

Sincerely,

Michael Jay Burns
Assistant Attorney General
Open Records Division

MJB/ch

Ref: ID# 124258

encl. Submitted documents

cc: Mr. Dan Naranjo
The Ariel House
8118 Datapoint Drive
San Antonio, Texas 78229-3268

(w/o enclosures)


 

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