From: STATE SUPERINTENDENT
Sent: Friday, October 11, 2002 5:19 PM
To: 'District Superintendents, ROEs, Directors of Special Education'
Subject: NCLB Update - Guidance on Providing Information to Military Recruiters
The No Child Left Behind Act requires schools to provide information on students to military recruiters. USDE has been working with the Department of Defense to develop joint guidance to schools. Attached are a joint letter from Secretaries Paige and Rumsfeld, the guidance, and model notification.
Generally speaking, Local Education Agencies (LEAs) that are recipients of ESEA funds must provide, upon request, students' name, address, and phone number to military recruiters. Typically, recruiters are asking for information on juniors and seniors.
If the LEA has an effective "directory information" policy under FERPA, and those three items are included in the FERPA "directory information" notification, then the school must provide this information to recruiters - and may do so without doing a specific notice to parents. On the other hand, if the LEA does not have a "directory information" policy and/or does not designate any of those three items as "directory information," then the LEA would have to do a separate, specific notice to parents (presumably of the juniors and seniors) and allow the parents (or students 18 or older) to opt-out.
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20202
October 9, 2002
For more than 25 years, the Armed Forces of our Nation have been staffed entirely by volunteers. The All-Volunteer Force has come to represent American resolve to defend freedom and protect liberty around the world. Sustaining that heritage requires the active support of public institutions in presenting military opportunities to our young people for their consideration.
Recognizing the challenges faced by military recruiters, Congress recently passed legislation that requires high schools to provide to military recruiters, upon request, access to secondary school students and directory information on those students. Both the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 and the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002 reflect these requirements.
In accordance with those Acts, military recruiters are entitled to receive the name, address, and telephone listing of juniors and seniors in high school. As clarified in the enclosure, providing this information is consistent with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, which protects the privacy of student education records. Student directory information will be used specifically for armed services recruiting purposes and for informing young people of scholarship opportunities. For some of our students, this may be the best opportunity they have to get a college education.
The support by our Nation’s educational institutions on behalf of the U.S. Armed Forces is critical to the success of the All-Volunteer Force. It can be, and should be, a partnership that benefits everyone. As veterans, and as Cabinet Members serving the President, we can attest to the excellent educational opportunities the military affords, as well as an environment that encourages the development of strong character and leadership skills.
The Department of Education and Department of
Defense have worked together to provide you the enclosed guidelines for
compliance with these new laws. We
encourage you to examine the enclosed information carefully and to work closely
with military recruiters as they carry out their important public
Rod Paige Donald H. Rumsfeld
Secretary of Education Secretary of Defense
October 9, 2002
Guidance on Access to High School Students and
Information on Students by Military Recruiters
Q. What are the recent changes made by Congress concerning military recruitment?
of high school students?
A. Congress has passed two major pieces of legislation that generally require local
educational agencies (LEAs) receiving assistance under the Elementary and
Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) 1 to give military recruiters the same
access to secondary school students as they provide to postsecondary institutions
or to prospective employers. LEAs are also generally required to provide
students’ names, addresses, and telephone listings to military recruiters, when
Q. Where are these statutory requirements found?
A. These requirements are contained in § 9528 of the ESEA (20 U.S.C. § 7908), as
amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (P.L. No. 107-110), the
education bill Congress recently passed.
These requirements are also contained in 10 U.S.C. § 503, as amended by § 544
of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002 (P.L. No. 107-
107), the legislation that provides funding for the nation’s armed forces in fiscal
Q. What is the effective date for these military recruiter access requirements?
A. While there are differences in the effective date provisions for 10 U.S.C. § 503
and § 9528 of the ESEA, both provisions apply to all LEAs receiving ESEA
funds by not later than July 1, 2002.
Q. What are the requirements of § 9528 of the ESEA?
A. Each LEA that receives funds under the ESEA must comply with a request by a
military recruiter or an institution of higher education for secondary students’
names, addresses, and telephone numbers, unless a parent has “opted out” of
providing such information. (See below for additional information.)
Section 9528 also requires LEAs that receive funds under the ESEA to provide
military recruiters the same access to secondary school students as they generally
provide to postsecondary institutions or prospective employers. For example, if the
school has a policy of allowing postsecondary institutions or prospective employers
to come on school property to provide information to students about educational or
professional opportunities, it must afford the same access to military recruiters.
1 If the LEA receives funds under the ESEA, all the secondary schools in that LEA are subject to the
requirements in these laws.
Q. Under § 9528 of the ESEA, what notification must LEAs provide to parents
before disclosing names, addresses, and telephone numbers of secondary students
to military recruiters and officials of institutions of higher education?
A. Under FERPA, an LEA must provide notice to parents of the types of student
information that it releases publicly. This type of student information, commonly
referred to as “directory information,” includes such items as names, addresses,
and telephone numbers and is information generally not considered harmful or an
invasion of privacy if disclosed. The notice must include an explanation of a
parent’s right to request that the information not be disclosed without prior
written consent. Additionally, § 9528 requires that parents be notified that the
school routinely discloses names, addresses, and telephone numbers to military
recruiters upon request, subject to a parent’s request not to disclose such
information without written consent.
A single notice provided through a mailing, student handbook, or other method that
is reasonably calculated to inform parents of the above information is sufficient to
satisfy the parental notification requirements of both FERPA and § 9528. The
notification must advise the parent of how to opt out of the public, nonconsensual
disclosure of directory information and the method and timeline within which to do so.
Q. If an LEA has not provided notice relating to “directory information,” may it
release a student’s name, address, and telephone number when requested by a
A. As noted above, an LEA may provide a single notice regarding both directory
information and information disclosed to military recruiters. If an LEA does not
disclose “directory information” under FERPA, then it must still provide military
recruiters access to secondary students’ names, addresses, and telephone listings.
In addition, the LEA must notify parents that they may opt out of this disclosure.
In other words, an LEA that does not disclose “directory information” must
nonetheless provide a notice that it discloses information to military recruiters.
The notice must be reasonably calculated to inform parents.
Q. If a parent opts out of the public, nonconsensual disclosure of directory
information (or any subset of such information), must the three data elements be
released to military recruiters upon their request?
A. If a parent opts out of providing directory information to third parties, the opt-out
relating to name, address, or telephone number applies to requests from military
recruiters as well. For example, if the opt-out states that telephone numbers will
not be disclosed to the public, schools may not disclose telephone numbers to
Q. If the school does not list one or more of the three data elements (e.g., telephone
number) among its directory information, may it release that information to
A. If a school does not designate one or more of the three items as “directory
information” under FERPA, it still must provide all three items to military
recruiters upon request. Also, in that case, the school would have to send a
separate notice to parents about the missing “directory information” item(s),
noting an opportunity to opt out of disclosure of the information to military
recruiters. An easier method, of course, would be for the school to designate all
three items – name, address, and telephone listing – as “directory information.”
Q. How are the requirements under § 9528 of the ESEA enforced?
A. Schools that do not comply with § 9528 of the ESEA could jeopardize their
receipt of ESEA funds.
Q. How does § 544 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002
amend the former requirements under 10 U.S.C. § 503?
A. Section 544 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002
revises Title 10, Section 503(c) in several important ways. First, the recruiting
provisions now apply only to LEAs (including private secondary schools) that
receive funds under the ESEA. Second, these provisions now require access by
military recruiters to students, under certain conditions, and to secondary school
students’ names, addresses, and telephone listings. Third, as discussed earlier,
they require LEAs to notify parents of their right to opt out of the disclosure of
their children’s names, addresses, and telephone numbers and to comply with any
such requests from the parents or the students.
Q. How are these requirements under 10 U.S.C. § 503 enforced?
A. In addition to the potential for loss of funds under ESEA noted above for failure
to comply with § 9528 of the ESEA, an LEA that denies a military recruiter
access to the requested information on students after July 1, 2002, will be subject
to specific interventions under 10 U.S.C. § 503.
In this regard, the law requires that a senior military officer (e.g., Colonel or Navy
Captain) visit the LEA within 120 days. If the access problem is not resolved with the
LEA, the Department of Defense must notify the State Governor within 60 days.
Problems still unresolved after one year are reported to Congress if the Secretary of
Defense determines that the LEA denies recruiting access to at least two of the armed
forces (Army, Navy, Marine Corps, etc.). The expectation is that public officials will
work with the LEA to resolve the problem.
Additionally, the Department of Defense has developed a national high school
data base to document recruiter access. Presently, 95 percent of the nation’s
22,000 secondary schools provide a degree of access to military recruiters that is
consistent with current law.
Q. Are private schools subject to the military recruiter requirements?
A. Private secondary schools that receive funds under the ESEA are subject to 10
U.S.C. § 503. However, private schools that maintain a religious objection to
service in the Armed Forces that is verifiable through the corporate or other
organizational documents or materials of that school are not required to comply
with this law.
Q. Where can I get more information on the requirements of 10 U.S.C. § 503?
A. The Office of the Secretary of Defense may be contacted for copies of the statute,
or questions relating to it. Please contact the Accession Policy Directorate as
Director, Accession Policy
4000 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-4000
Telephone: (703) 695-5529
Q. Where can I get more information on the requirements of § 9528 of the ESEA?
A. The Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO) in the Department of Education
administers FERPA as well as § 9528 of the ESEA, as amended by the No Child
Left Behind Act of 2001. School officials with questions on this guidance, or
FERPA, may contact the FPCO at FERPA@ED.Gov or write to the FPCO as
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-4605
Telephone: (202) 260-3887
Fax: (202) 260-9001
Model Notice for Directory Information under the
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a Federal law, requires that [School
District], with certain exceptions, obtain your written consent prior to the disclosure of
personally identifiable information from your child’s education records. However, [School
District] may disclose appropriately designated “directory information” without written consent,
unless you have advised the District to the contrary in accordance with District procedures. The
primary purpose of directory information is to allow the [School District] to include this type of
information from your child’s education records in certain school publications. Examples
§ A playbill, showing your student’s role in a drama production;
§ The annual yearbook;
§ Honor roll or other recognition lists;
§ Graduation programs; and
§ Sports activity sheets, such as for wrestling, showing weight and height of team members.
Directory information, which is information that is generally not considered harmful or an
invasion of privacy if released, can also be disclosed to outside organizations without a parent’s
prior written consent. Outside organizations include, but are not limited to, companies that
manufacture class rings or publish yearbooks. In addition, two federal laws require local
educational agencies (LEAs) receiving assistance under the Elementary and Secondary Education
Act of 1965 (ESEA) to provide military recruiters, upon request, with three directory information
categories – names, addresses and telephone listings – unless parents have advised the LEA that
they do not want their student’s information disclosed without their prior written consent. 1
If you do not want [School District] to disclose directory information from your child’s
education records without your prior written consent, you must notify the District in writing by
[insert date]. [School District] has designated the following information as directory
information: [Note: an LEA may, but does not have to, include all the information listed
Student’s name -Participation in officially
Address recognized activities and sports
Telephone listing -Weight and height of members of
Electronic mail address athletic teams
Photograph -Degrees, honors, and awards
Date and place of birth received
Major field of study -The most recent educational
Dates of attendance agency or institution
Grade level attended
1 These laws are: Section 9528 of the ESEA (20 U.S.C. 7908), as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act
of 2001 (P.L. 107-110), the education bill, and 10 U.S.C. 503, as amended by section 544, the National
Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002 (P.L. 107-107), the legislation that provides funding for the
Nation’s armed forces.