An Educational Representative is a competent adult authorized (approved) to make educational decisions on behalf of an adult student who is found to not be competent to make their own educational decisions. Before this can happen, the student must be evaluated and found to be “unable or incapable” of providing informed consent for educational decisions. Informed consent means that they understand what they are agreeing to. These evaluations are not done by school staff.
This is a Virginia program that was set up to help families who either do not have guardianship, cannot afford guardianship, or do not want to get guardianship. It allows parents to be appointed as their child’s educational representative without having to go to court. The process, developed by VDOE, meets all state and federal laws. It is much easier and less expensive than a guardianship proceeding. Like the POA, the educational representative can only make educational decisions. See VDOE Transfer of Rights document and Section 8VAC20-81-180 of the Regulations Governing Special Education in Virginia.