Information on IDEA State Complaints
- IDEA Part B Dispute Resolution in COVID-19 Environment Q&A Document, June 2020
- State Complaint Procedures :: Questions and Answers
Overview of the IDEA State Complaint Procedures.
Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, U.S. Department of Education, July 23, 2013
- Federal regulations regarding State Complaint Procedures
34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.151- Sec. 300.153 (2006)
- IDEA Dispute Resolution Processes Comparison Chart
Chart prepared by CADRE comparing key elements of the dispute resolution options under the IDEA (January 2015)
(PDF, 2 pgs)
- IDEA Written State Complaints :: Guide for Parents and Families
Parent-friendly guide prepared by CADRE, January 2014 (PDF, 8 pgs)
- Filing a State Complaint in Part B of IDEA
Information from the Center for Parent Information and Resources
- What to Include in a State Complaint
Information from Understood.org
- OSEP Monitoring: Information on the process used by the U.S. Dept. of Education's Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) in its monitoring of state implementation of the state complaint dispute resolution option. (WORD)
- Considerations and Concerns Prior to Filing a State Administrative Complaint
Six considerations from Kathleen B. Boundy, Co-Director, Center for Law and Education
- Tips About Using the State Complaint Process
Ten tips from Sonja D. Kerr, nationally-recognized Special Education Expert.
- Outcomes trends in the state complaint procedures under the IDEA. Analysis by Perry Zirkel (2022) (PDF)
- Frequency trends in the state complaint procedures under the IDEA. Analysis by Perry Zirkel (2021) (PDF)
- Extending State Complaint Timelines
A discussion of how to apply the "exceptional circumstances" provision to extend the timeline for resolving state complaints. Prepared by the Regional Resource Center (2010)(PDF)
- GAO report: "IDEA Dispute Resolution Activity in Selected States Varied Based on School Districts’ Characteristics” This 2019 report by the Government Accountability Office looked at complaints in five states regarding services provided to students under the Individuals With Disabiliites Education Act, including state complaints.
- Resolving Disputes in the Department of Defense Education Schools
Information on dispute resolution options available to parents whose child attends a Department of Defense school. (PDF)
- Advocates Talk Complaints
A chat with two practicing special education advocates using state complaints as part of their advocacy practice. (16 mins)
- Upper Arlington, Ohio Complaint
Kerry Agins & advocate Brenda Louisin discuss a state complaint filed by 17 families. (29 mins)
- Disability Rights Iowa Complaints
Nathan Kirstein, DRI staff attorney, discusses two complaints filed by his agency regarding facilities serving troubled youth in Iowa. (32 mins)
- Advocates for Justice and Education, Inc.
Attorney Maria Blaeuer discusses complaints filed by her agency against DC Public Schools regarding failure to provide adequately trained personnel to teach students with disabilities. (28 mins)
- Disability Rights California Complaint
Attorney Robert Borrelle discusses a systemic complaint filed by his agency regarding failure to provide special education and related services during school closure due to COVID-19. (29 mins)
- Native American Disability Law Center
Attorney Alexis DeLaCruz discusses a systemic complaint filed by her agency regarding failure to provide special education and related services during school closure due to COVID-19. (36 mins)
Dispute Resolution Data
Policy Letters issued by the U.S. Dept. of Education
- Letter to Lipsitt: This September 2022 letter addresses
the use of certain Federal court cases and OSEP correspondence when resolving State complaints. (PDF)
- Dear Colleague Letter on Use of Due Process Procedures After a Parent Has Filed a State Complaint: This April 2015 letter from the U.S. Dept. of Education clarifies IDEA dispute resolution procedures. (PDF)
- Letter to Zirkel: This April 2022 letter addresses whether SEA written decision on alleged violations must take into consideration consistency with State guidance documents; and applicable case law.
- Letter to Anonymous: This October 2019 letter clarifies that an SEA’s complaint decision to remedy the denial of appropriate services must be implemented even if the child relocates to another state. (PDF)
- Letter to Zirkel: This July 2019 letter addresses a series of questions regarding a state educational agency’s (SEA’s) complaint procedures process, in particular, about enforcement actions and resolution of state complaints.
- Letter to Zirkel: This May 2019 letter addresses a series of questions regarding the implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) state complaint and due process hearing procedures.
- Letter to Lipsitt: This April 2018 letter addresses the circumstances under which it would be appropriate for an SEA to consider compensatory services as a remedy in state complaints.
- Letter to Lipsitt: This September 2015 letter clarifies that SEAs must issue a written decision to the complainant even in cases where the complaint is resolved by accepting a proposal by the local educational agency. (PDF)
- Letter to McWilliams: This July 2015 letter to Michigan's Protection and Advocacy Services addresses how an SEA must apply state complaint procedures regarding services in IEPs.
- Letter to Deaton: This May 2015 letter clarifies that SEAs that require districts to take corrective action following a state complaint are not entitled to wait out a subsequent due process hearing before enforcing their orders. (PDF)
- Letter to Reilly: This November 2014 letter to Maine's Disability Rights Center clarifies that complainants to not have the "burden of proof" in state complaints. (PDF)