Texas Education Code

Sec. § 29.0151
Appointment of Surrogate Parent for Certain Children


(a)

This section applies to a child with a disability for whom:

(1)

the Department of Family and Protective Services is appointed as the temporary or permanent managing conservator of the child; and

(2)

the rights and duties of the department to make decisions regarding the child’s education under Section 153.371 (Rights and Duties of Nonparent Appointed As Sole Managing Conservator), Family Code, have not been limited by court order.

(b)

Except as provided by Section 263.0025 (Special Education Decision-making for Children in Foster Care), Family Code, a school district must appoint an individual to serve as the surrogate parent for a child if:

(1)

the district is unable to identify or locate a parent for a child with a disability; or

(2)

the foster parent of a child is unwilling or unable to serve as a parent for the purposes of this subchapter.

(c)

A surrogate parent appointed by a school district may not:

(1)

be an employee of the agency, the school district, or any other agency involved in the education or care of the child; or

(2)

have any interest that conflicts with the interests of the child.

(d)

A surrogate parent appointed by a district must:

(1)

be willing to serve in that capacity;

(2)

exercise independent judgment in pursuing the child’s interests;

(3)

ensure that the child’s due process rights under applicable state and federal laws are not violated;

(4)

complete a training program that complies with minimum standards established by agency rule within the time specified in Section 29.015 (Special Education Decision-making for Children in Foster Care)(b);

(5)

visit the child and the school where the child is enrolled;

(6)

review the child’s educational records;

(7)

consult with any person involved in the child’s education, including the child’s:

(A)

teachers;

(B)

caseworkers;

(C)

court-appointed volunteers;

(D)

guardian ad litem;

(E)

attorney ad litem;

(F)

foster parent; and

(G)

caregiver; and

(8)

attend meetings of the child’s admission, review, and dismissal committee.

(e)

The district may appoint a person who has been appointed to serve as a child’s guardian ad litem or as a court-certified volunteer advocate, as provided under Section 107.031 (Volunteer Advocates)(c), Family Code, as the child’s surrogate parent.

(e-1)

As soon as practicable after appointing a surrogate parent under this section, a school district shall provide written notice of the appointment to the child’s educational decision-maker and caseworker as required under Section 25.007 (Transition Assistance for Students Who Are Homeless or in Substitute Care)(b)(10)(H).

(f)

If a court appoints a surrogate parent for a child with a disability under Section 263.0025 (Special Education Decision-making for Children in Foster Care), Family Code, and the school district determines that the surrogate parent is not properly performing the duties listed under Subsection (d), the district shall consult with the Department of Family and Protective Services regarding whether another person should be appointed to serve as the surrogate parent for the child.

(g)

On receiving notice from a school district under Subsection (f), if the Department of Family and Protective Services agrees with the district that the appointed surrogate parent is unable or unwilling to properly perform the duties required under this section:

(1)

the department shall promptly notify the court of the agreement; and

(2)

as soon as practicable after receiving notice under Subdivision (1), the court shall:

(A)

review the appointment; and

(B)

enter any orders necessary to ensure the child has a surrogate parent who performs the duties required under this section.
Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1025 (H.B. 1556), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2017.
Amended by:
Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 781 (H.B. 1709), Sec. 2, eff. June 10, 2019.
Source

Last accessed
Jun. 7, 2021