Long-term storage needs and tight budget constraints are just some of the challenges that schools and educators face when accessing and sharing documents without a modern document management system. Schools also must comply with strict Family and Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulations.
What is FERPA?
FERPA is a federal law that protects the privacy of students’ personal records such as education records, files, contacts, and family information related directly to any student under the age of 18. The law generally requires schools to ask for written consent before disclosing the child’s personally identifiable information to individuals other than the parent.
What Happens if You Violate FERPA Regulations?
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) states that violating FERPA can result in the withdrawal of the U.S. Department of Education funds from the institution or agency that has violated the law. This applies to schools, school districts, and state education agencies. The Family Policy Compliance Office of the U.S. Department of Education seeks to promote voluntary compliance with the law. A third party who improperly discloses personally identifiable information from student records can be prohibited from receiving access to records at the education agency or institution for at least five years. Be sure to check and review your state laws on privacy for any additional penalties.
Strategic Content Management
Implementing a solid content management system should be every school’s number one priority when navigating FERPA regulations. A well-developed digital content management strategy not only ensures regulatory compliance, but it also facilitates organization and efficiency throughout the organization. To be effective, records must be correctly categorized, stored, archived, and readily found again when needed. With a quality content management system, schools can securely collect data across multiple platforms, accessing important documents anytime and anywhere.
A Custom-Tailored Solution
With limited time and resources, schools should consider a comprehensive document management package tailored exclusively to educators. Look for a program that addresses administrative roadblocks common to the education community and highlights FERPA compliance. URM Technologies, for example, offers a Solution in a Box for educators. For one fixed cost, schools can get an all-inclusive strategy that includes:
- Intelligent Scanning & Data Capture
- Locktight Digital & Hardcopy Storage
- VOIP Telephone Technology
- SchoolGate Guardian
- Efficient Workflow Synchronization
- Defensible Destruction & Shredding
- Managed Print Services
- Konica Minolta Multi-Function Print Devices
Adopting a content management strategy like the above not only enhances security, but it also elevates productivity and improves the organization’s bottom line. There is no need to navigate FERPA regulations alone. The right records management team can help your organization transition seamlessly into a better, more modern document management system that will meet and exceed all of your file security requirements.
If you have any questions about your document management options, please don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our expert technology team members. We would be happy to provide you with more guidance and information.
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