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U.S. Department of Education: Promoting Educational Excellence for all Americans

Surrogate parents (Sec. 300.519)

Comment: A few commenters asked whether a student in the penal system has a right to a surrogate parent.

Discussion: Students with disabilities in State correctional facilities do not have an automatic right to a surrogate parent solely by reason of their confinement at a correctional facility. Public agencies must make case-by-case determinations in accordance with the requirements in Sec. 300.519, regarding whether a student with a disability in a State correctional facility needs a surrogate parent. Whether a student with a disability confined in a State correctional facility is considered a ward of the State, as defined in new Sec. 300.45 (proposed Sec. 300.44) whose rights must be protected through the appointment of a surrogate parent, is a matter that must be determined under State law.

Changes: None.

Comment: One commenter recommended defining the term "locate" as used in Sec. 300.519.

Discussion: "Locate," as used in Sec. 300.519(a)(2), regarding a public agency's efforts to locate a child's parent, means that a public agency makes reasonable efforts to discover the whereabouts of a parent, as defined in Sec. 300.30, before assigning a surrogate parent. We do not believe that it is necessary to define "locate" in these regulations because it has the same meaning as the common meaning of the term.

Changes: None.