Departments‎ > ‎Federal Programs‎ > ‎

Complaint Procedures

Complaint Procedures for All Federal Programs

ESEA SEC. 5206

Revised July 1, 2016

A. Grounds for a Complaint

Any individual, organization or agency (complainant) may file a complaint with the Commerce City Board of Education if that individual, organization or agency believes and alleges that a local educational agency (LEA), the state educational agency (SEA), or an agency or consortium of agencies is violating a federal statute or regulation that applies to a program under the Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA). The complaint must allege a violation that occurred not more than one year prior to the date that the complaint is received, unless a longer period is reasonable because the violation is considered systemic or ongoing.

B. Filing a Complaint

A complaint must be made in writing and signed by the complainant. The complaint must include the following:

1. A statement that the LEA, SEA, agency or consortium of agencies has violated a requirement of a Federal statute or regulation that applies to an applicable program;

2. The date on which the violation occurred;

3. The facts on which the statement is based and the specific requirement allegedly violated (include citation to the Federal statute or regulation);

4. A list of the names and telephone numbers of individuals who can provide additional information;

5. Whether a complaint has been filed with any other government agency, and if so, which agency;

6. Copies of all applicable documents supporting the complainant’s position; and

7. The address of the complainant.

The complaint must be addressed to:

Commerce City Board of Education

270 Lakeview Drive

Commerce, Georgia 30529

Once the complaint is received by the Commerce City Board of Education, it will be copied and forwarded to the appropriate person, who maintains all comments, complaints, records, and resolutions.

C. Investigation of Complaint

Within ten (10) days of receipt of the complaint, the Superintendent or his or her designee will issue a Letter of Acknowledgement to the complainant that contains the following information:

1. The date the LEA received the complaint;

2. How the complainant may provide additional information;

3. A statement of the ways in which the LEA may investigate or address the complaint; and

4. Any other pertinent information.

If the complaint involves other entities, the LEA will also send a copy of the Letter of Acknowledgement to the other entity, along with a copy of the complaint. The LEA will contact the other entity to clarify the issues and review the complaint process. If the complaint cannot be resolved through this contact, the LEA will invite the entity to submit a written response to the LEA, and to provide a copy of the response to the complainant.

Appropriate LEA staff will review the information and determine whether:

1. Additional information is needed;

2. An on-site investigation must be conducted;

3. Other measures must be taken to resolve the issues raised in the complaint; or

4. A Letter of Findings can be issued.

If additional information or an investigation is necessary, the LEA will have sixty (60) days from receipt of the information or completion of the investigation to issue a Letter of Findings.

If the Letter of Findings indicates that a violation has been found, corrective action will be required and timelines for completion will be included. Either the 30-day or the 60-day timelines outlined above may be extended, if exceptional circumstances exist. The Letter of Findings will be sent directly to the complainant, as well as the other parties involved.

D. Right of Appeal

If an individual, organization or agency is aggrieved by the final decision of the LEA, that individual, organization or agency has the right to request review of the decision by the Georgia Department of Education. The review is at the Department’s discretion. For complaints filed pursuant to Section 9503 (20 U.S.C. §7883, complaint process for participation of private school children), a complainant may appeal the LEA decision to the Georgia Department of Education no later than thirty (30) days from the date on which the complainant receives the Letter of Findings. The appeal must be accompanied by a copy of the LEA decision and include a complete statement of the reasons supporting the appeal.

The Commerce City School System does not discriminate in any educational programs or activities or in employment practices.