Video Summary: Complaints Overview

This video covers what to do as a parent or guardian of a child with a disability when you want to file a complaint, and how the complaint process works. One of your options when you disagree with an action your child’s school or school district took is to file a complaint with the State Department of Education (this is called a state complaint).

The state complaint process works differently than a due process hearing; for a state complaint, all you have to do is fill out the form attached in this section and mail it to the State Department of Education. You must also mail a copy of the filled-out form to the school district. Once the form is properly filed, the state will begin to investigate your complaint within 60 days. Their goal is to deteremine whether the school violated some sort of rule or regulation regarding your child’s special education. For this reason, it’s important foryou make clear what that rule or regulation you feel has been violated when you fill out the form.

The state department does not settle factual disputes; for example, if your child’s doctor diagnoses them with a disability, and the evaluation team disputes that claim that would be moree appropriate for a due process hearing.

We should note that if you choose to file a state complaint or have a due process hearing, we encourage you to get in contact with an attorney or child advocate. You can represent yourself, of course, but if you have absolutely any doubts about the process, you should have a lawyer with you.