Special Needs Transportation

State directors call for clarification of student info access

Posted on June 2, 2008

WASHINGTON, D.C. — State pupil transportation directors urged the U.S. Department of Education to clarify that school bus personnel should be given confidential student information when necessary to ensure safe transportation.

The National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS) made the request in a comment on a federal proposal that attempts to resolve uncertainty over who may have access to certain student records, such as medical information for special-needs children.

NASDPTS called for bus drivers and other transportation personnel to be included in a category of “other school officials” who may access relevant student information without prior consent under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

“Addressing the issue at this time is advisable to avoid inconsistency and provide oversight regarding the disclosure of critical student information that can protect student welfare in the course of school bus rides,” NASDPTS wrote.

The association noted that school officials across the country often withhold this type of information from pupil transportation personnel because of concerns about confidentiality.

“Failure to change school district protocols continues to work to the detriment of students,” NASDPTS wrote.

Attorney Peggy Burns assisted NASDPTS in addressing the proposal, and Burns submitted a similar comment of her own to the docket.

The comment period has ended, but the docket can be viewed here.

Related Topics: legal issues, NASDPTS

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