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About this Project

The IDEA State Complaint Resource Center is designed to provide parents, advocates and attorneys with information and resources to assist in using the Written State Complaint process effectively. We believe the IDEA State Complaint process is underutilized as a tool for improving the compliance and quality of special education programs. The number of Written State Complaints filed has remained relatively constant from 2008 to 2017 according to data compiled by CADRE.

National data indicates that Due Process Complaints are filed more frequently than Written State Complaints, even though the Written State Complaint is available to more parties and the process may be easier to initiate and less adversarial than a Due Process Complaint. A Written State Complaint is the only dispute resolution option that can be used to address systemic issues of noncompliance. Additionally, a Written State Complaint is more likely to be resolved within a shorter time than a Due Process Complaint. A lack of awareness and/or misperceptions about the Written State Complaint process may impact the relative use of this dispute resolution option. (Source: CADRE)

The usefulness of state complaints was noted by the U.S. Dept. of Education when issuing the IDEA Federal regulations in 2006:

“Through its Part B State complaint procedures, each State has a powerful tool to address noncompliance with Part B of the IDEA and its implementing regulations in a manner that both supports and protects the interests of children and their parents and facilitates ongoing compliance by the State and its public agencies with the IDEA and implementing regulations” (Source: 71 Federal Register 46601 August 14, 2006).

And, as special education law authority Perry Zirkel has noted:

“this route of IDEA dispute resolution … requires far less, if any, in terms of legal representation, case preparation, and face-to-face adversariness.” (Source: Legal Boundaries for the IDEA Complaint Resolution Process, 2014)


We are pleased to have the assistance of the following individuals as advisors to this project: