May the school or LEA non-consensually disclose personally identifiable information (PII) from education records to a community-based organization that is conducting a study for the school or LEA?

Yes.  The studies exception allows for the disclosure of PII from education records without consent to community-based organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, the school or LEA.  FERPA limits the purpose of the studies conducted under this exception to: (1) developing, validating, or administering predictive tests; (2) administering student aid programs; or (3) improving instruction.  See 34 CFR § 99.31(a)(6)(i).  

K-12 School Officials
Community Based Organizations
Data Sharing
Exceptions - Other