A state level complaint triggers an investigation by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE). The proper issue for a state level complaint is a violation of the IDEA system or procedure (not an incorrect decision about a particular child, where that child’s needs are not being met). The complaint must be about a violation of the IDEA that has happened within the last year. You will have to consider carefully whether your problem falls into that category.
CDE can order correction of the violation, including compensatory services, financial reimbursement, and corrective action.
With a state level complaint, there is no hearing, just the investigation and decision.
You can find a form for the state level complaint on the CDE website.
Filing a state complaint does not keep you from filing for due process later, on issues that fall under both categories.
clickable chart on educating children with disabilities
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