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Sample Complaints

This section provides a variety of state complaints. Some contain both the complaint submission and the response from the state educational agency (SEA). Others contain only the report issued by the state educational agency. Complaints are arranged by issue and the state is indicated in parenthesis. Many complaints involve several issues and are therefore listed under more than one issue. All documents are PDF. The free PDF Reader is available here.

The following states make state complaint decisions publicly available online: Colorado, Delaware (withholds district name), District of Columbia, Indiana (not current), Kansas (withholds district name), Maine, Maryland, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Washington (not current), Wisconsin (withholds district name), Wyoming (incomplete). Of these states, we consider Ohio and Wisconsin to be exemplary in the manner of presentation (i.e., databases that allow users to search reports by issue, date, district). Oregon also provides a user-friendly listing of complaints. Other states are encouraged to present state complaint decisions online in a user-friendly and timely manner.

In states that do not post complaint investigation reports, use your state's freedom of information law to submit requests to the state dept. of education. More information on FOIA, including sample letters, is available here.

 

Below are state complaints related to COVID-19

(See also: U.S. Dept. of ED's IDEA Part B Dispute Resolution in COVID-19 Environment Q&A Document)

CONTINGENCY/CONTINUOUS LEARNING PLANS (School building closure due to COVID-19)

  • Kansas (LEA redacted) (Failure to include parent in development of CLP; failure to provide PWN)
    SEA report

EDUCATIONAL RECORDS

  • Kansas (LEA redacted) Failure to respond to parent request for ed records
    SEA report
  • Mountain BOCES (CO) Failure to provide parent with access to student education records within 45 days of request
    SEA report

INDIVIDUALIZED EDUCATION PROGRAMS (IEPs)

  • Brookings School District (SD) (Failure to implement IEP during school closure)
    SEA Report
  • El Paso County School District 11 (CO) (Failure to implement IEP including related services during school closure)
    SEA Report
  • Bakersfield City School District (CA) (Failure to implement IEPs of all students during school closure)
    Complaint :: SEA report - Systemic complaint filed by Disability Rights California :: Podcast (29 mins)
  • Braintree Public Schools (MA) Requiring parents to "excuse the District from strict performance of IEP timelines" in virtual IEP meetings -
    Filed by SPEDWATCH
    SEA Report
  • Beech Grove City Schools (IN) (Failure to implement IEP during school closure)
    SEA Report
  • Eastern Howard School Corporation (IN) (Failure to implement IEP during remote learning; failure to revise IEP)
    SEA Report
  • Porter Township School Corp (IN) (Failure to implement IEP during school closure)
    SEA Report
  • Wisconsin (LEA redacted)(Failure to implement IEP during school closure)
    SEA Report
  • Savannah Public Schools (GA) (Failure to provide special education to all students during school closure)
    Systemic complaint filed by Sullivan Law Firm
    Complaint :: SEA Report :: Complaint Timeline :: Press Release :: News Story
  • St. Louis Park (MN) (Failure to provide special educatin during school closure; failure to provide PWN; failure to conduct evaluation)
    SEA report
  • Bellevue (WA) (Failure to implement IEP during school closure)
    NOTE: This is one of 26 complaints filed between June and August alleging various WA districts failed to implement student IEPs during the March 2020 through June 2020 school facility closures. The corrective action in this report is similar to that ordered in the majority of these complaints.
    SEA Report
  • Albuquerque (NM)(Failure to implement IEP during school closure)
    Systemic complaint filed on behalf of all students with IEPs attending eCademy K-8 magnet school.
    Complaint :: SEA report
  • Bloomfield (NM)(Failure to implement IEP during school closure, hold IEP mtg to discuss recovery services)
    Systemic complaint filed on behalf of all students with IEPs :: Filed by Native American Disability Law Center
    Complaint :: SEA report :: Podcast about the complaint (36 mins)
  • Clark County School District (NV)(Failure to implement transtion services during school closure)
    SEA report
  • York County (ME)(Failure to provide FAPE to all eligible students)
    Systemic complaint filed by Disability Rights Maine
    SEA report :: News story
  • Columbus City School District (OH) (Failure to provide amended IEPs)
    SEA Report
  • Denver Public Schools (CO) (Failure to implement IEP, provide PWN, determine placement)
    SEA Report :: News story
  • Tippecanoe School Corporation (IN) (Failure to provide accommodation re mask wearing info to substitute teacher)
    SEA Report
  • Charles County Public Schools (MD)(Failure to provide services in IEP)
    SEA Report

EVALUATIONS

  • Nashoba Valley Regional School District (MA) (District paused all required procedures regarding Initial Evaluations for Special Education during the statewide closures due to COVID-19)
    SEA Report - Filed by SPEDWATCH
  • Chicago Public Schools (IL) (Failure to evaluate students and complete triennial evaluations for students in the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center) Systemic complaint filed by Legal Aid Chicago & Equip for Equity
    SEA Report -:: News article

FACE COVERING/MASKING

  • Multiple Districts and Area Education Agencies (IA) Multiple families filed a state complaint alleging the enforcement of the prohibition on implementing a local face covering requirement by districts contained in House File 847 violated federal law, including the IDEA.
    SEA Report

TRANSPORTATION

  • Brookings School District (SD) (Failure to provide)
    SEA Report
  • Plymouth Public Schools (MA)(Failure to provide transportation for ESY services)
    SEA Report - Filed by SPEDWATCH

ACCOMMODATIONS

  • Hillsborough County School District (FL)
    SEA Report
  • East Central BOCES (CO)
    SEA Report
  • Gary Community School Corporation (IN) (Failure to provide accommodations per IEP)
    SEA Report (098-2015)
  • Charles A. Tindley Accelerated School (IN)(Failure to provide accommodation per IEP)
    SEA Report (087-2015)
  • Norfolk City Public Schools (VA) (Failure to provide accommodations per IEP)
    SEA Report
  • Vermont (LEA redacted) (Failure to provide progress reports to parents
    SEA Report

ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY

  • Toledo City Schools (OH) (Provision of AT as specified in IEP)
    SEA Report

BEHAVIOR INTERVENTION PLANS (BIPs)

CHANGE OF PLACEMENT

  • Norfolk City Public Schools (VA)
    SEA Report
  • Harrison 2 (CO) Filed by 4 parents of students with autism
    SEA Report (Remedies include reimbursement to parents)
  • Washington Township (IN)(Failure to return student to prior placement following manifestation determination)
    SEA Report
  • Pleasanton USD (CA) (Failure to notify parents of change of placement)(Filed by advocate)
    Complaint :: SEA Report

CHANGE OF SCHOOLS (Failure of receiving school to implement IEP in timely manner)

  • Bridgeport Public Schools (CT) (Filed by