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Parent Surrogate

What is a Parent Surrogate?

A parent surrogate is a person appointed by the Local Education Agency (LEA) to act in the place of a student's parent in the educational decision-making process.  The mandated involvement of a parent of a student with a disability necessitates the appointment of a parent surrogate when the legal guardian is a public agency, the parents are deceased, the parental educational rights have been placed with the State or the parent is unknown or unavailable to participate in the special education process.  A parent surrogate appointed by the LEA represents a student with a disability in matters relating to identification, evaluation and placement in special education.

Who is Eligible to be a Parent Surrogate?

Anyone who:

  • Is at least 21 years of age
  • Has no interest that conflicts with the interest of the child
  • Is not an employee of the public agency involved in the education or care of the student
  • Is not an employee of the Prince George’s County Public School system and
  • Has the necessary skills that will ensure adequate representation of the child.

There is a 90  minute training session that is provided free of charge.

What are the Responsibilities of a Parent Surrogate?

Under state and federal law, the parent surrogate has the same rights in the special education process as do natural parents or guardians.  The parent surrogate acts as an advocate on behalf of a child to assure that the child receives a free and appropriate public education, which is accomplished by:

  • Becoming familiar with the child’s educational history and any other information relation to the child’s education;
  • Participating in the planning, development and approval of the child’s individualized education program (IEP);
  • Monitoring of the child’s educational development.

How much Time and Money are Involved in Being a Parent Surrogate?

The amount of time varies from student to student.  It is estimated that the amount of time within a 10-month period will not exceed 10 hours.This is strictly voluntary. There are no costs involved with being a parent surrogate to you or the school system.

If you have any questions, contact your Surrogate Parent Coordinator today at:

John Carroll - Department of Special Education
1400 Nalley Terrace
Landover, Maryland 20785
Phone: 301-431-5675   Fax: 301-431-6235