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Complaint Procedures

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

A complaint is a statement alleging 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 don’t get a response or decision or don’t agree with a response or decision please 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.

Please select the content area related to your specific concern and click on the link provided for further information and to file a complaint for that specific area.

Special Education Division Complaint Support Unit
For complaints regarding special education.

Education Equity Uniform Complaint Procedures (UCP) Office
For complaints regarding K-12 student discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and/or bullying based on a protected class.

For complaints regarding specific federal and state programs please contact the appropriate office found at UCP Contacts.

The following web pages are outside the California Department of Education.

California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) External link opens in new window or tab.
For complaints regarding educator misconduct.

California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) External link opens in new window or tab.
For complaints regarding discrimination in employment, housing, businesses, and state-funded programs, and from bias-motivated violence and human trafficking.

U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food & Nutrition Service
For complaints regarding National School Lunch, School Breakfast, Special Milk, Child and Adult Care Food, Summer Food Service, or Commodity Supplemental Food programs.

Questions:   California Department of Education | 916-319-0800
Last Reviewed: Friday, September 29, 2023
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