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Complaint Procedures

Information about filing a complaint for a school or a school district.

What is a complaint?

A complaint is a statement that a local school, school district, or county of education policy has been violated or that a state or federal law or regulation has been violated.

If you have a complaint, submit it in writing to your school, district, or county office of education, following the governing board policies and procedures. The local governing board has ultimate authority over many subjects, including:

  • hiring and evaluation of staff
  • student assignments
  • student discipline
  • facility conditions

If you have a complaint about educator misconduct, in addition to submitting a complaint to the school, district, or county office of education, you can report educator misconduct to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing [http://www.ctc.ca.gov/educator-discipline/default.html] External link opens in new window or tab..

If you have a complaint about special education, in addition to submitting a complaint to the school, district, or county office of education, you can report it to the Procedural Safeguards and Referral Service for their Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process [http://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/cs/k3/dispute.asp].

If you have a complaint about student discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, please visit the CDE Resolution of Discrimination/Harassment Complaint Web page [http://www.cde.ca.gov/re/di/eo/complaint.asp].

What if I don’t get a response or decision?

Refer back to the governing board policies and procedures of the district, county office of education, or charter school for guidance. Districts are required to provide copies of these policies free of charge. Many post these documents on their Web site.

What if I don’t like the response or decision I receive?

Refer back to the governing board policies and procedures of the district, county office of education, or charter school for guidance. Districts are required to provide copies of these policies free of charge. Many post these documents on their Web site. For violation of specific state or federal laws and regulations that that fall within the Uniform Complaint Procedures [http://www.cde.ca.gov/re/cp/uc/], you may appeal the decision to the California Department of Education.

Questions:   California Department of Education | 916-319-0800
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, June 8, 2016
Recently Posted in Complaint Procedures
  • Sample UCP Complaint Log for UCP 3 (PDF) (added 21-Jul-2016)
    Tool designed to assist LEAs in their preparation for the FPM online review of UCP 3.
  • Sample UCP Complaint Log for UCP 3 (PDF) (added 20-Jun-2016)
    Tool designed to assist LEAs in their preparation for the FPM online review of UCP 3.
  • Self-Cert for UCP 3 (DOC) (added 20-Jun-2016)
    Self-cert is for the LEA to complete before the FPM online review to report whether or not it filed UCP complaints within a 12-month period.
  • Self-Certification for UCP 5 (DOC) (added 20-Jun-2016)
    For the LEA to complete before its FPM online review declaring the proper implementation of the UCP process, consistent with the Williams Complaint requirements found in 5.0 of the UCP Instrument.
  • Williams Complaint Notice (DOC) (added 20-Jun-2016)
    Sample notice to explain complaints for Williams-related issues according to 5 CCR Section 4684(a).

  • Williams Complaint Form (DOC) (added 20-Jun-2016)
    For LEAs to make available to anyone who wants to file a complaint regarding Williams-related issues concerning deficiencies related to instructional materials, conditions of facilities that are not maintained in a clean or s
  • UCP Checklist for 2016-17 (PDF) (added 20-Jun-2016)
    Comprehensive list of required statements to be included in the six (6) different UCP policies, procedures, notices, and forms according to California Code of Regulations, Title 5 (5 CCR) sections 4600-4687.
  • Sample UCP Pol and Pro (DOC) (added 20-Jun-2016)
    Sample Policies and Procedures assists LEAs in meeting the requirements in describing the UCP complaints process according to California Code of Regulations, Title 5.
  • Sample UCP Annual Notice (DOC) (added 20-Jun-2016)
    Sample UCP Annual Notice assists LEAs to annually notify their stakeholders of their UCP complaint procedures according to California Code of Regulations, Title 5.
  • Distribution of the UCP Annual Notice (DOC) (added 20-Jun-2016)
    This form is a questionnaire for agencies to complete before the FPM review to confirm the distribution of a valid UCP Annual Notice to their stakeholders by the end of the current school year.