If you have any questions regarding School Records Law, please contact us for a Free School Records Consultation.
Parents have the right to see and read their child’s educational records. Upon receiving a request, the school district must make your child’s records available to you (within 15 school days). The school district may charge a reasonable fee for copies of the record; however, if you cannot afford the fee, you still have the right to review and receive a copy of the records. Parents are to be provided a copy of evaluation reports and documentation of determination of eligibility upon completion of the administration of assessments at no cost. Parents must be allowed access to any education records relating to their child that are collected or maintained by the school.
Challenging Your Child’s Records
Parents can request that the district add, remove, or change information in the student file. Parents should submit a written request to the school district that explains their concerns. The request should be sent to the superintendent. When dealing with a request to add, change or remove a student record, a parent needs to:
• Make sure you understand what the records say.
• Talk to the school principal or district superintendent about the problem.
• Write a letter about what you want and ask for a written answer.
If the problem is not resolved to the parent’s satisfaction, the parent may request a Records Hearing (this is different from a due process hearing) through your local school district to resolve the issues. Regardless of the outcome of the hearing, parents may put a note or letter in their child’s school record to explain their point of view.
Age of Majority
The rights of parents concerning education records are given to the student at age 18 unless parents have obtained guardianship or the student provided written consent for parental access. This means that if there is no guardianship established, an 18 year old student must sign a waiver permitting the parent to review the school records.
Medicaid and Insurance: Parent Consent/Student Records
A school district may use Medicaid payments to assist in paying for the services a special education student receives. To receive Medicaid funding, the school district does not need parent consent provided that the parents are:
• informed that such information is being released by the school, and
• given the opportunity to request the information not be released.
The information the school district provides to the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (“IHFS”) is subject to the Illinois School Student Records Act. This information includes the child’s name, the types of services provided, and the dates of services. Such information is the type of directory information that the school may release without parent consent.
Notification of the school district’s intent to access Medicaid may be included in the district’s directory policy information (such as a parent handbook) or they may send parents a letter. The school district must assure that the information provided to the IHFS is covered by the directory information notice given to parents.
The district must have written consent from parents in order to use their private insurance.
Services required by an IEP must be provided at no cost to the child’s parents, whether they have public or private insurance. Parents shall be notified that the use of their private insurance proceeds to pay for services is voluntary. In the case of a child who is dually insured (through private insurance and Medicaid), a family shall not be required to draw upon private insurance whose use is a prerequisite to billing Medicaid if that use of insurance will result in financial costs to the family.
If you feel that your right to school records has been violated, please contact us for a Free School Records Consultation.