Special Education Complaints

Posted: Wed, 08/31/2011 - 11:13am Updated: Fri, 12/12/2014 - 11:24am

A complaint is a claim that a school:

  • Has not implemented federal or state special education rules; or
  • Has failed to comply with an order issued by an independent hearing officer.

For example, the person filing the complaint might claim the school failed to do something it is required to do, such as not providing all of the services listed in the student's individualized education program (IEP). Or, the person filing the complaint may say the school is doing something the rules say it cannot do, such as changing the student's placement without giving the parent(s) prior written notice.

The violation alleged in the complaint must have occurred within one year of the date the complaint is filed. A complaint is not used to resolve a disagreement with the school about the student's eligibility, evaluation, services, placement or the provision of a free appropriate public education.

Who may file a Complaint?

A complaint may be filed by the parent(s) or any other individual, a group of individuals, or by an agency or organization.

What must be included in all Complaints?

  • A complaint must be in writing by way of either a letter or a complaint form (form may be completed electronically, but must be printed and have a handwritten signature);
  • The student's name and address;
  • The name of the school corporation and school the student attends;
  • A statement that the school is not following one or more requirements of Article 7 or IDEA 2004;
  • Any facts about the situation;
  • A recommendation for how the situation should be resolved (if the person filing the complaint has a recommendation);
  • Contact information for the person filing the complaint;
  • Signature of the person filing the complaint (A complaint must be signed. The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) will not investigate an anonymous complaint.);
  • Be faxed, mailed or hand delivered to the IDOE (Office of Legal Affairs) and to the School Corporation (Superintendent or the local special education director). 

Complaint Investigation Reports:

Reports may be searched by school corporation, special education planning district, topic, or year filed.

Data Reports:

Office of Special Education/Due Process
Telephone: (317) 233-2131
Fax: (317) 232-0589
Email: specialeducation@doe.in.gov
Website: www.doe.in.gov/specialed