Posted: Wed, 08/31/2011 - 11:13am Updated: Thu, 11/07/2019 - 9:08am

What is a complaint?

  • A complaint is a formal investigation process that starts with a written claim alleging the school:
    • Has not implemented federal or state special education rules; or
    • Has failed to comply with a mediation agreement, an agreement reached during a resolution meeting, or an order issued by an independent hearing officer (IHO).
  • The assigned complaint investigator will speak to the parties to learn more about the issues in the complaint, and in some instances may visit the school to obtain additional information.
  • The parent(s) and the school have the opportunity to submit documents to the complaint investigator related to the allegations.
  • The complaint investigator reviews all of the information and submitted documentation and issues a complaint investigation report, which may include corrective action if the school is found to be noncompliant with state special education rules.

What issues can a complaint investigation address?

  • A complaint investigation may address any alleged violation of federal or state laws that apply to special education programs.

Who may file a complaint?

  • A complaint may be filed by: the parent(s); any individual; group of individuals; agency; or organization.

What must be included in a complaint?

  • The student's name and address;
  • The name of the school corporation or charter school, and school the student attends;
  • A statement that the school is not following one or more requirements of Article 7 or the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA);
  • Any facts supporting the allegations;
  • A proposed resolution (if the person filing the complaint has a recommendation);
  • Contact information for the person filing the complaint; and
  • A signature of the complainant.

How can I file a complaint?

  • To file a complaint electronically, please use I-CHAMP.
  • A written request for a complaint can also be printed and completed with a handwritten signature. Click here for a sample complaint request.

Who must receive a copy of a complaint request?

  • The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE); and
  • The school serving the student.
  • A copy may be submitted electronically using I-CHAMP, in person, by mail, or via fax. A complaint cannot be filed with IDOE through electronic mail.

What is the deadline for filing a complaint?

  • A complaint must be filed within one year of the alleged violation.

How long does a complaint investigation take?

  • A written complaint report will be issued by IDOE within 40 calendar days of receiving the complaint, unless an extension has been granted.
  • Either the complainant or the school can request reconsideration by the Director of the Office of Special Education. If reconsideration is requested, the Director’s final decision shall be made within 60 days of the date the original complaint request was received by IDOE. 

Where are prior complaint investigation reports located?

  • Reports are available electronically on I-CHAMP and may be searched by school corporation, special education planning district, topic, or year.