The Arizona law that governs access to school records is Arizona Revised Statutes section 15-141. That code section incorporates the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which is a federal law that dictates when school records may be released. 

Access to School Records

FERPA provides parents and students over the age of eighteen with the following rights:

  • The right to review and inspect records maintained by an educational institution (copies of the records may be available for a fee if it is unreasonable for individuals to review the records in person);
  • The right to request incorrect or misleading information be fixed. If the institution refuses to change the information, parents or qualified students may have other remedies, including requesting a hearing; and
  • The right to give written permission before school records are disclosed to another party.

There are certain exceptions to the written approval requirement, including releasing information for the following reasons:

  • The student is transferring to another school;
  • Financial institutions require the information in connection with financial aid;
  • A court has issued an order or subpoena requesting the information;
  • The disclosure is necessary to assist with a medical or safety emergency; or
  • Arizona law requires the information to be provided to state and local authorities (for example a student has been admitted to a juvenile detention facility).

Additionally, schools may release "directory" information about a student (name, contact information, birthday, etc.) without express approval. Parents and students must still be given the opportunity to ask that such information not be provided to the requestor.