||Irene Wimbush, Program Specialist IV
Food and Nutrition Management
||Disclosure of information detained from applications for free
or reduced price meals
||Your opinion request dated February 24, 2003
QUESTION PRESENTED: Is the consent of a student or a student’s
parent required before information obtained from an application
for free or reduced price meals, is released to other school officials?
CONCLUSION: No, school officials can disclose information
obtained from an application for free or reduced price meals to
other school officials who have a legitimate educational interest
in the information.
DISCUSSION: The No Child Left Behind Act requires
States and local education agencies (LEAs) to measure and report
publicly on the progress of all students, and of students in various
population groups, including students who are economically disadvantaged.
For many LEAs, information from the National School Lunch Program
is perhaps the best source of data available to hold school accountable
for the achievement of “economically disadvantaged”
students, and to identify students eligible to receive supplemental
educational services or to receive priority for public school choice.
Section 9(b)(2)(C)(iii) of the National School Lunch Act (42 USC
1758(b)(2)(C)(iii)) authorizes the limited disclosure of children’s
free and reduced price meal eligibility information to specific
programs or individuals without prior parent/guardian consent. It
provides, in part, that such information can be disclosed to a person
directly connected with the administration or enforcement of a Federal
education program. See 42 USC 1758(b)(2)(C)(iii)(II)(aa).
Section 1002.22(3)(d)1., Florida Statutes, permits the disclosure
of personally identifiable records or reports of a student to “[o]ther
school officials, including teachers within the educational institution
or agency, who have a legitimate educational interest in the information
contained in the records.” Therefore it is permissible for
school officials to share information necessary to comply with the
requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act, without consent
of the student or the student’s parent.
General Counsel Home Page 2003 Opinions