AUGUSTA (AP) — Students with disabilities are in need of volunteers to advocate for their educational rights.

Maine is searching for more educational surrogate parents for such students, some of whom may be in state custody.

An educational surrogate parent can act independently on behalf of a student with disabilities.

The Department of Education matches up children and volunteers.

The special education process includes meetings to discuss the child’s programming and requests for educational hearings.

Some volunteers can only attend annual meetings in person or by phone, while others visit the student and stay in regular contact.

Travel expenses are reimbursed by the state of Maine.

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