What You Need to Know Before Filing a State Complaint!

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Your state Department of Education must develop a system to provide information about state complaint procedures and how to resolve parent-school complaints.

  • Take care when you use your state complaint system (or OCR).
  • Use complaints only if you can prove that the school is breaking the law.
  • Never base a complaint on what someone tells you.

Writing State Complaint Letters

Find our what the attorney and the lay advocate need to know. When do you start the preparation for the letter? What are the first steps before putting pen to paper? Who is your target audience – you are writing the letter for who? Are you sure?

Read the new OSEP guidance for State Complaint procedures and get links to sample letters.

Pete has created a 55 minute MP4 video about writing due process request letters and state complaints. The principles in the video relate to all letters. This multimedia training is available for immediate download.

The live presentation teaches you how to create visual imagery to tell a story in your letter. Your letter may become the theme of your case.

Click here for the description of the new download and watch the trailer.


Before You File

Before you file a complaint, be very, very certain that you will never want to file for a hearing on the same issue.

In 18 Tips for Filing Complaints, Pat Howey shares strategies for filing a complaint with the state department of education.

How Do You Control the Outcome of Your Complaint?

You must make the decision-maker want to rule in your favor. Pete explains that facts and law do not control the outcome of a complaint.

So…who does control the outcome?

IDEA Regulations: State Complaint Procedures

IDEA Federal Regulations for state complaint procedures are at 34 CFR §300.151 through 300.153. You will find them Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, p. 216.


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