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TO:         Superintendents of Maine School Systems

               Headmasters of Private Secondary Schools


FROM:   J. Duke Albanese, Commissioner


DATE:   October 9, 2002


RE:          Recruiter Access to Students


Broader access to students by military and college recruiters has recently raised concerns among superintendents.  This issue is among the many changes in the operation of local public and private schools that have been brought about by the No Child Left Behind Act, signed into law by the President in January 2002.  Specifically, the Act states: 

§9528(a)(1)  Access to Student Recruiting Information.  Each local educational agency receiving assistance under this Act shall provide, on a request made by military recruiters or an institution of higher education, access to secondary school students’ names, addresses, and telephone listings.

§9528(a)(2)  Consent.  A secondary school student or the parent of the student may request that the student’s name, address, and telephone listing not be released without prior written parental consent, and the local education agency or private school shall notify parents of the option to make a request and shall comply with any request.

§9528(a)(3)  Same Access to Students.  Each local educational agency receiving assistance under this Act shall provide military recruiters the same access to secondary school students as is provided generally to post secondary educational institutions or to prospective employers of those students.

The Family Policy Compliance Office at the United States Education Department is responsible for enforcement of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).  Providing names, addresses, and telephone numbers of students to military or college recruiters in accordance with the No Child Left Behind Act is not a violation of FERPA.  In future years, the annual notice required by FERPA should include notice of this access and should provide parents with the opportunity to remove their student’s name from the list to be released.  Now that the school year is well underway, superintendents must send a second FERPA notice to address this specific issue for high school students.  This should be done as soon as possible, to avoid misunderstandings about this change in the law.

It is important to note that the federal term “local educational agency” includes all public and private schools operated in the physical territory of a school system, regardless of approval status of the private school.  Therefore, this federal law applies to private high schools in Maine.