March 19, 2015

The staff of the Committee on Open government is authorized to issue advisory opinions.  The ensuing staff advisory opinion is based solely upon the facts presented in your correspondence.


In response to yours of February 26, 2015, please note the advice offered in the enclosed materials. 
In sum, to the extent that the topic of a conversation is confidential under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the discussion is exempt from the Open Meetings Law.  It has come to our attention that the United States Department of Education has determined that school bus routes are included under the definition of “education records” made confidential pursuant to FERPA (see Forum Guide to Protecting the Privacy of Student Information, page 3, enclosed).

While FERPA would require a school board to provide access to certain education records to a student’s parent, we are not aware of a corollary provision that would require a school board to hold a discussion about a student in the presence of the parent. 

I hope that this is helpful.


Camille S. Jobin-Davis

Assistant Director