A state level complaint is another common tool. For any alleged violation of IDEA or the Exceptional Children’s Education Act (ECEA), you can file a state level complaint with the Colorado Department of Education (CDE), and simultaneously with the Special Education Director of your Administrative Unit. You can find forms and directions here.
A state level complaint covers any alleged IDEA or ECEA (state law and regulations) violation that has taken place within the last year. For a more detailed explanation of what is involved, see the OSEP Questions and Answers on IDEA Part B Dispute Resolution Procedures. This complaint works similarly to an OCR complaint, but it focuses on special education issues and has a shorter timeline to resolution.
After you file a complaint, the school district will file a response. If the State Complaints Officer (SCO) accepts the complaint for investigation, the SCO gathers documents, interviews people, and conducts on investigation. Then the Officer issues a written decision within 60 days. The officer can enter orders to correct the violation.
You can file a state-level complaint yourself or with an attorney, though it is likely to be more effective with an attorney. This is a lower-level and lower-cost approach, both for you and the school district, because the SCO does most of the work. The SCO will also offer the opportunity to mediate.
Access to Justice for My Child with Disabilities
Navigation for 8-part blog series
- Part 1: Diagnose Your Problem and Possible Solutions
- Part 2: Working with the School District
- Part 3: Complaining to the Office for Civil Rights
- Part 4: Getting Help and Asking for Mediation
- Part 5: A State Level Complaint
- Part 6: Filing a Due Process Complaint
- Part 7: Why Doesn't the School Cooperate?
- Part 8: Access to Justice for Special Ed and Disability Issues
- “Harm and Proportionality” Still Applies: The Colorado Supreme Court Clarifies the Sanctions Analysis for Rule 26(a) Violations
- After Sanctions Resulted in Dismissal, the Tenth Circuit Gives Party a Second Chance
- But They Never Made that Argument! The Tenth Circuit Examines Grounds for Reversing a Sua Sponte Grant of Summary Judgment
- Colorado Rules Roundup: New Rules and Changes on the Horizon
- Coach Praying on the Fifty-Yard Line Not Entitled to First Amendment Protection