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Policy for Public Access to Scholastic Census Records

Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Archives and Information Services Division

Effective May 25, 2016

Scholastic census records dated 75 years ago and earlier are unrestricted and may be accessed by the public (Texas Government Code, Section 552.0215, right of access to certain information after 75 years).

Scholastic census records dated less than 75 years ago are restricted and must be redacted for gender, race, and disability information for the student and any student family members (siblings) listed in the record, unless proof of death of any of those individuals is provided. (Texas Government Code, 552.101 and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA))

To obtain a copy of their own scholastic census record dated less than 75 years ago, on-site patrons must show photo identification (driver’s license, state personal ID, U.S. passport, or U.S. military ID). Remote requestors must make their request in writing (to archinfo@tsl.texas.gov or to Texas State Library and Archives Commission, P.O. Box 12927, Austin, TX 78711). Requests by phone are not accepted. The record provided will be redacted for gender, race, and disability for everyone except the former student (in other words, for all the siblings), unless proof of death is provided for any of those siblings.

Social Security Administration requests for scholastic census information that are made in writing on SSA letterhead (mailed or faxed) do not require archivist review and the requested information will be provided regardless of record date. SSA requests made by email will require archivist review for information excepted from disclosure, unless the request can be resubmitted on SSA letterhead through mail or email. Phone requests are not accepted.

The following information applies to scholastic census records dated less than 75 years ago: because of the possibility that portions of these records fall under Public Information Act exceptions including, but not limited to, student records (Texas Government Code, Sections 552.026 and 552.114, in conformity with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974), an archivist must review these records before they can be accessed for research. The records may be requested for research under the provisions of the Public Information Act (Texas Government Code, Chapter 552).

The researcher may request an interview with an archivist or submit a request by mail (Texas State Library and Archives Commission, P.O. Box 12927, Austin, TX 78711), fax (512-463-5436), email (director.librarian@tsl.texas.gov), or see our web page https://www.tsl.texas.gov/agency/customer/pia.html. Include enough description and detail about the information requested to enable the archivist to accurately identify and locate the information. If our review reveals information that may be excepted by the Public Information Act, we are obligated to seek an open records decision from the Attorney General on whether the records can be released. The Public Information Act allows the Archives ten working days after receiving a request to make this determination. The Attorney General has 45 working days to render a decision. Alternately, the Archives can inform the researcher of the nature of the potentially excepted information and if they agree, that information can be redacted or removed and they can access the remainder of the records.

Page last modified: November 23, 2016