Are Public School Records Typically Free to Access?


Quick Answer

Public schools generally allow students to view records in person for free, but may charge a small fee to provide copies of them. The price depends on the school system and on whether the requester has previously asked for a copy of the same record.

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Full Answer

Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, schools are required to allow students to view their own educational records. In addition, schools must allow parents to view records of children under age eighteen. However, schools are not required to provide paper copies of records unless the requester can prove that he or she is unable to come in person.

The law allows schools to charge for paper copies of records. Most school systems charge processing fees of less than $10. Some schools provide the first copy for free, but charge for subsequent requests.

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