The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires states and entities receiving funds under Part B to make available the following dispute resolution options: mediation, written state complaint (WSC), and due process complaint (DPC). These mandatory options offer mechanisms for resolving disputes that arise under IDEA. Among these options, the WSC is the only one available to an organization or an individual who is not the child's parent. Additionally, it is the only option that can be initiated on behalf of a group of children to address systemic noncompliance.
The IDEA state complaint is used less frequently than IDEA's other dispute resolution options. Yet approximately two-thirds of state complaints result in findings of noncompliance. A lack of awareness and/or misperceptions about the state complaint process may impact the relative use of this dispute resolution option.
In order to compare state complaint activity across states, we calculate the number of state complaints filed per 10,000 special education students in the state.