ORS 339.260¹
Withholding records until debt paid
  • liability of parent
  • waiver
  • notice
  • inspection

(1) A school district shall withhold the grade reports, diploma and records of any student or former student who owes a debt of $50 or more to the school district. A school district may withhold the grade reports, diploma and records of any student or former student who owes a debt of less than $50 to the school district. A school district shall release the grade reports, diploma and records upon payment of the debt.

(2) A school district board shall adopt policies about how the school district shall collect from a student or the parent or guardian of the student any amount that is owed to a school district that is $50 or more by a student or former student of the school district. In addition, the school district board may adopt policies for the collection of debt owed to the school district that is less than $50.

(3) The parent or guardian of such student shall be liable for damages as otherwise provided by law.

(4) Notwithstanding subsections (1) and (2) of this section, a school district board may adopt policies that allow the school district to waive all or a portion of a debt owed to the school district by a student if:

(a) The school district determines that the student or the parent or guardian of the student is unable to pay the debt;

(b) The payment of the debt could impact the health or safety of the student;

(c) The creation of the notice required by subsection (7) of this section would cost more than the potential total debt collected relating to the notice; or

(d) There are mitigating circumstances as determined by the superintendent of the school district that preclude the collection of the debt.

(5) Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, a school district shall not withhold the education records of a student in the circumstances described in ORS 326.575 (Records when student transfers or is placed elsewhere) and applicable rules of the State Board of Education or when such records are requested for use in the appropriate placement of the student.

(6) Before any grade reports, diplomas or records are withheld under subsection (1) of this section or any debt is collected under subsection (2) of this section, a school district board shall adopt policies that ensure that the rights of the student to due process are protected. The policies adopted under this subsection and subsection (2) of this section shall meet the requirements of subsections (7) and (8) of this section.

(7) Prior to pursuing the collection of a debt owed to the school district by a student or former student or withholding any grade reports, diploma or records of a student or former student, the school district must give written or oral notice to the student and the parent or guardian of the student. The notice must state the reason the student owes money to the school district and the amount owed. The notice must inform the student and the parent or guardian of the student that the school district intends to withhold the grade reports, diploma and records of the student until the debt is paid. The notice must also state that the school district may pursue the matter through a private collection agency or other method available to the school district. A school district may give more than one notice to the student and the parent or guardian of the student.

(8) Following a date that is at least 10 days after the date of the last notice given under subsection (7) of this section, if the student or the parent or guardian of the student has not paid the debt, the school district:

(a) Shall, if the debt is $50 or more, withhold the grade reports, diploma and records of the student;

(b) May, if the debt is less than $50, withhold the grade reports, diploma and records of the student; and

(c) May pursue the matter through a private collection agency or other method available to the school district.

(9) Nothing in this section is intended to prevent inspection of student education records by a parent or legal guardian pursuant to ORS 343.173 (Parental right to examine district records), the rules of the State Board of Education and applicable state and federal law.

(10) Each school district shall notify students about the provisions of this section and ORS 339.270 (Assessment of costs of school property damage against responsible student or parents or guardian) at least once each school year.

(11) In any civil action by a school district against a student or parent or guardian of a student for the collection of a debt owed to the school district, if the school district is the prevailing party, the court shall award the school district costs and reasonable attorney fees. [1965 c.100 §290; 1971 c.561 §4; 1985 c.514 §1; 1993 c.806 §5; 1995 c.656 §3; 2003 c.690 §1]

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 339—School Attendance; Admission; Discipline; Safety, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­Archive/­2007ors339.­pdf (2007) (last ac­cessed Feb. 12, 2009).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2007, Chapter 339, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­339ano.­htm (2007) (last ac­cessed Feb. 12, 2009).
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent. Currency Information