What is a Uniform Complaints Procedures or UCP complaint?
A Uniform Complaint Procedures or UCP complaint is a written statement alleging discrimination, harassment, intimidation and/or bullying or a violation of a federal or state law or regulation, including noncompliance with laws relating to pupil fees (Assembly Bill 1575). A UCP complaint must be filed by way of the Uniform Complaint Procedures as written in the California Code of Regulations, Title 5, sections 4600-4687 and Education Code sections 234, 234.1, 234.2, 234.3, 234.5, 49010-49013. Issues that may involve filing a complaint using the UCP are under various state and federal programs that use categorical funds such as Adult Education, Career Technical And Technical Education And Training Programs, Child Care And Developmental Programs, Child Nutrition Programs, Consolidated Categorical Aid Programs, Federal Safety Planning Requirements, Migrant Education, and Special Education Programs.
A Williams Complaint, another type of UCP complaint, regards instructional materials, emergency or urgent facilities conditions that pose a threat to the health and safety of pupils, and teacher vacancy or misassignment and may be filed anonymously. Local educational agencies (LEAs) shall have a complaint form available for these types of complaints, but will not reject a complaint if the form is not used as long as the complaint is submitted in writing.
A Valenzuela complaint (Assembly Bill 347) is a type of Williams Complaint and requires LEAs that receive intensive instruction funds to post a notice in Grades 10 to 12 classrooms and provide an area on the Williams Complaint form for alleging a lack of opportunity to receive intensive instruction and services for pupils who have not passed one or both parts of the high school exit exam by the end of 12th grade. This requirement is subject to SBX3 4 (Ch. 12, Third Extraordinary Session, Statutes of 2009), ABX4 2 (Ch. 2, Fourth Extraordinary Session, Statutes of 2009), Education Code Section 42605, and/or existing contract or bargaining agreements that the LEA may have in place.
Not all complaints fall under the scope of the UCP. Many concerns are the responsibilities of the LEAs, including, hiring and evaluation of staff, classroom assignments, student advancement and retention, selection/provision of textbooks and materials, student discipline, provision of core curricula subjects, facilities, graduation requirements, homework policies and practices, use of general education funds and dress codes and school uniforms.
The following documents describe the process in filing a complaint. Topics include referring complaint issues, LEA responsibilities, LEA policies and procedures, filing a local complaint, time lines, appealing LEA Decisions, department resolution procedures, the on-site investigation process, and the investigation and final report procedures of the California Department of Education (CDE).
UCP Information Documents
Implementation of Assembly Bill (AB) 9 in Relation to Uniform Complaint Procedures (September 4, 2012 letter to County and District Superintendents) The attached samples to this letter are located below under "UCP Sample Documents."
Implementation of Assembly Bill (AB) 1575 in Relation to Uniform Complaint Procedures (November 16, 2012 letter to County and District Superintendents)
Uniform Complaint Procedures (UCP) brochure (PDF; Dated 26-Jan-2009)
Authorized by California Code of Regulations, Title 5, sections 4600-4687
The UCP brochure describes the process in filing an official UCP complaint under the Uniform Complaint Procedures process and provides the contacts at the California Department of Education (CDE) as authorized by California Code of Regulations, Title 5, sections 4600 through 4687. This is a document for CDE use and is not meant to be used by LEAs in place of their own UCP Annual Notice.
UCP Sample Documents
These UCP Sample Documents are for all local educational agencies (LEAs) that receive state and federal categorical funds such as for Adult Education, Career Technical And Technical Education And Training Programs, Child Care And Developmental Programs, Child Nutrition Programs, Consolidated Categorical Aid Programs, Federal Safety Planning Requirements, Migrant Education, and Special Education Programs:
Sample UCP Policies and Procedures | DOC (Posted 17-Jun-2013)
LEAs are required to have their own UCP Policies and Procedures consistent with 5 CCR Sections 4600-4695. The Sample UCP Policies and Procedures is a document provided by CDE to assist LEAs in meeting the federal and state requirements for describing how LEAs process UCP complaints. This Sample UCP Policies and Procedures is in the form of one document and includes required language from AB 9, ‘Seth’s Law’ and AB 1575, ‘Pupil Fees.’ This document will assist LEAs in meeting the requirement to make available information in their areas for the investigation and resolution of UCP complaints according to 5 CCR Section 4621(a). LEAs will ensure their UCP Policies and Procedures are approved and adopted by their governing boards and that the requirements remain current.
Sample UCP Annual Notice | DOC (Posted 31-May-2013)
The Sample UCP Annual Notice will assist LEAs in meeting the Title 5 requirement to annually notify in writing the LEA’s students, employees, parents or guardians of its students, the district advisory committee, school advisory committees, appropriate private school officials or representatives, and other interested parties of their own UCP complaint procedures. This Sample UCP Annual Notice includes required language from AB 9, ‘Seth’s Law’ and AB 1575, ‘Pupil Fees.’ This is the notice that each LEA must disseminate annually to describe how it manages its own Uniform Complaints Procedures process according to 5 CCR Section 4622.
Sample Williams Complaints Classroom Notice | DOC (Posted 18-Jun-2012)
The Sample Williams Complaints Classroom Notice is provided by CDE for LEAs to post in each classroom to explain the complaints process for Williams-related issues and lack of intensive instruction and services for pupils who have not passed the high school exit exam at the end of grade 12. The LEAs are required to post the Williams Complaints Classroom Notice in each classroom in each school notifying all parents/guardians, pupils and teachers of their rights to complain about possible insufficient instructional material, unclean and/or unsafe school facilities, and/or teacher vacancies and/or misassignments according to 5 CCR Section 4684(a).
Sample Williams Complaints Form | DOC (Posted 18-Jun-2012)
The Sample Williams Complaints Form is for LEAs to make available to anyone who wants to file a complaint regarding a Williams-type issue. A Williams issue concerns deficiencies related to instructional materials, conditions of facilities that are not maintained in a clean or safe manner or in good repair, teacher vacancy or misassignment, and/or intensive instructional services not being provided to pupils who have not passed one or both parts of the high school exit examination at the end of grade 12. This form contains elements required by California Education Code Section 35186 and 5 CCR Sections 4600-4687.
Federal Programs Monitoring (FPM) UCP Resources
FPM Review documents are for local educational agencies (LEAs) scheduled for a FPM review, however any LEA may utilize the following documents for meeting the state and federal requirements regarding Uniform Complaint Procedures. The following documents are located in the California Accountability and Information System (CAIS):
UCP Checklist (Posted 31-May-2013)
The UCP Checklist is a comprehensive list of required statements to be included in the six different UCP policies, procedures, notices and forms according to the California Code of Regulations, 5 CCR, Sections 4600-4687.
Sample UCP 1 Policies and Procedures (please see above in Samples section)
Sample UCP 2 Annual Notice (please see above in Samples section)
Sample UCP Complaints Log for UCP 3 (for online FPM reviews only) (Dated 31-May-2013)
The Sample UCP Complaint Log is a tool designed to assist LEAs in their preparation for the online review of UCP 3. The use of this sample log is not required. However, LEAs are required to provide the CDE information about the complaints received in the past 12 months in order for CDE to complete its review of UCP 3.
Self-certification for UCP 3 | DOC (for online FPM reviews only) (Dated 23-Nov-2011)
The Self-certification for UCP 3 is a form provided by CDE for the LEA to complete before its FPM online review declaring either (A) the LEA had no UCP complaints within a 12-month period or (B) the proper implementation of the UCP investigation process, consistent with the requirements of 3.1, 3.2 of the UCP Instrument. The LEA must upload the Self-certification for UCP 3 on CAIS.
Sample UCP 5 Williams Complaints Classroom Notice (please see above in Samples section)
Self-certification for UCP 5 | DOC (for online FPM reviews only) (Dated 23-Nov-2013)
The Self-certification for UCP 5 is a form provided by CDE for the LEA to complete before its FPM online review declaring the proper implementation of the UCP process, consistent with the Williams Complaints requirements found in 5.0 of the UCP Instrument. The LEA must upload the Self-certification for UCP 5 on CAIS.
Sample UCP 6 Williams Complaints form (please see above in Samples section)