Information for STUDENTS and FAMILIES About Alternatives To Guardianship For Education Decisions

July 4, 2021
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After a student turns 18, who gets to make decisions about their education? When a student turns 18 they get to make their own decisions. This includes school decisions. But, sometimes a student with a disability has difficulty making decisions. They may have a hard time saying what they want to do. A family member may want to ask a court to appoint a guardian to make decisions for the student.

Before asking for a guardian, it is important to consider other options. Guardianship is a significant loss of liberty. It limits or denies a person the right to make their own decisions. Once a guardianship is put in place it can only be removed by a court order. There are times when guardianship may be necessary. However, the law requires that alternatives to guardianship be considered before asking a court to appoint a guardian.

This handout describes ways a student can get help from others in making school decisions without having a guardian.

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