NY.gov Portal State Agency Listing

 

FOIL-AO-18525

VIA E-MAIL

From: dos.sm.Coog.InetCoog
Sent: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 2:20 PM
Subject:    RE: Diamond's FOIL Request

 

In response to your most recent voice mail message, please note that the
Committee on Open Government has neither the authority nor the resources to compel an entity to comply with the Freedom of Information Law.  This office, with a staff of two, is responsible for providing advice regarding application of the Freedom of Information Law.  See our pamphlet at the following link: http://www.dos.ny.gov/coog/Right_to_know.html

The Freedom of Information Law does not contain any provision for correcting inaccurate information.  It is a law that provides a mechanism whereby applicants may request and gain access to government records here in New York.

The material that I referenced in my voice mail to you, regarding the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, a federal law, will be much more helpful to you -- repeated below:

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act provides parents with a
mechanism whereby they can request that records maintained by a school
district can be corrected.  Pertinent regulations are set forth as follows:

Subpart C—What Are the Procedures for Amending Education Records?

§ 99.20   How can a parent or eligible student request amendment of the
student's education records?
(a) If a parent or eligible student believes the education records relating to the student contain information that is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student's rights of privacy, he or she may ask the educational agency or institution to amend the record.
(b) The educational agency or institution shall decide whether to amend the record as requested within a reasonable time after the agency or institution receives the request.
(c) If the educational agency or institution decides not to amend the record as requested, it shall inform the parent or eligible student of its decision and of his or her right to a hearing under §99.21.
(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1232g(a)(2))[53 FR 11943, Apr. 11, 1988; 53 FR 19368, May 27, 1988, as amended at 61 FR 59296, Nov. 21, 1996]

§ 99.21   Under what conditions does a parent or eligible student have the right to a hearing?
(a) An educational agency or institution shall give a parent or eligible
student, on request, an opportunity for a hearing to challenge the content of
the student's educatioN records on the grounds that the information contained in the education records is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the privacy rights of the student.
(b)(1) If, as a result of the hearing, the educational agency or institution decides that the information is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the privacy rights of the student, it shall:
(i) Amend the record accordingly; and(ii) Inform the parent or eligible student of the amendment in writing.
(2) If, as a result of the hearing, the educational agency or institution
decides that the information in the education record is not inaccurate,
misleading, or otherwise in violation of the privacy rights of the student, it shall inform the parent or eligible student of the right to place a statement in the record commenting on the contested information in the record or stating why he or she disagrees with the decision of the agency or institution, or
both.
(c) If an educational agency or institution places a statement in the
education records of a student under paragraph (b)(2) of this section, the agency or institution shall:
(1) Maintain the statement with the contested part of the record for as long as the record is maintained; and
(2) Disclose the statement whenever it discloses the portion of the record to which the statement relates.(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1232g(a)(2))
[53 FR 11943, Apr. 11, 1988, as amended at 61 FR 59296, Nov. 21, 1996]

§ 99.22   What minimum requirements exist for the conduct of a hearing?
The hearing required by §99.21 must meet, at a minimum, the following
requirements:
(a) The educational agency or institution shall hold the hearing within a
reasonable time after it has received the request for the hearing from the parent or eligible student.
(b) The educational agency or institution shall give the parent or eligible student notice of the date, time, and place, reasonably in advance of the hearing.
(c) The hearing may be conducted by any individual, including an official of the educational agency or institution, who does not have a direct interest in the outcome of the hearing.
(d) The educational agency or institution shall give the parent or eligible student a full and fair opportunity to present evidence relevant to the issues raised under §99.21. The parent or eligible student may, at their own expense, be assisted or represented by one or more individuals of his or her own choice, including an attorney.
(e) The educational agency or institution shall make its decision in writing within a reasonable period of time after the hearing.
(f) The decision must be based solely on the evidence presented at the
hearing, and must include a summary of the evidence and the reasons for the decision.
(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1232g(a)(2))

The full text of these guidelines can be found on the website of the Family Policy Compliance Office at the following link:
http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/index.html

Should you have questions regarding application of the above guidelines, you should direct them to the federal Family Policy Compliance Office.

I hope that this is helpful.

Camille

 

Camille S. Jobin-Davis, Esq.
Assistant Director
NYS Committee on Open Government
Department of State
99 Washington Ave, Suite 650
Albany NY 12231

Tel: 518-474-2518
Fax: 518-474-1927
http://www.dos.ny.gov/coog/index.html