An educational surrogate fills the role of a parent for the student with a disability whenever decisions are being made about the student's educational placement and program. Parents of children with disabilities are important members of a decision-making team, which decides the appropriate educational program for their child. Sometimes, for various reasons, there is no one to fill this important role. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires states train and provide educational surrogates, an impartial individual, to fill the role of a parent.
Anyone who is 18 years old or older, and has no conflict of interest concerning the child's education, may serve as an educational surrogate. A criminal record check and child abuse or neglect check are required. Also, an educational surrogate may not be an employee of a public agency providing care, custody, or educational services to the specific child in need of educational surrogate representation.
Training for persons interested in serving as an educational surrogate may be viewed online. You may reach the Division of Special Education Compliance by phone at (573) 751-0699 or at this website for training information and answers to other questions regarding the educational surrogate program.