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Special Education Listserv

Subject:  Educational Surrogates

Source:  Bonnie Aaron, Director, Special Education Compliance

Intended Audience:  Directors of Special Education

Date:  October 19, 2011

This SELS serves as a reminder that responsible public agencies in the state are required to identify children with disabilities within their jurisdiction who might be in need of an Educational Surrogate and to apply to the state for appointment of a surrogate in a timely manner.  Children with disabilities eligible for an Educational Surrogate are those who:

•       have no identified parent;

•       have parents who, after reasonable efforts, cannot be located by a public agency;

•       are wards of the state and are living in a facility or group home (and not with a

        person acting as a parent); or,

•       are unaccompanied homeless youth.

It is also the responsibility of the local education agency to assist the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in recruiting surrogate parent volunteers and submitting the names and addresses of those volunteers to the Department.

PLEASE ENSURE that all email correspondence concerning Educational Surrogates is directed to webreplysurrogate@dese.mo.gov.

If you do not have a sufficient number of educational surrogates in your district to fill the needs of identified students, you must demonstrate your efforts to recruit. If you need assistance in your recruiting efforts, contact the Special Education Compliance office at 573-751-0699 to discuss recruiting options.

Feel free to refer anyone in your community you believe would be interested in serving as an educational surrogate to the Educational Surrogate website, http://www.dese.mo.gov/divspeced/Compliance/EdSurrogate/ and encourage them to complete an application.

If you have questions or concerns regarding the needs of students and educational surrogates in your district, please let us know.