Resources

Special Education Services


Complaint Investigation Process

Early Resolution  •  Correspondence That Will Not Be Investigated  •  Correspondence That Will Be Investigated  •  Request for State Complaint Investigation  •  Issues Impacting Complaint Investigations   •   Complaint Procedures/Resolutions  •  Due Process

Early Resolution

Early resolution is an informal means for districts and parents to resolve complaints at the local level. It is not uncommon for disagreements to occur between parents and school districts regarding a child's special education services. Those disagreements can often be resolved at the local level with open communication between the parties. The process of resolving disagreements at the local level can be a quick alternative to using a state-sponsored dispute resolution system, and can have the added benefit of improving communication between both parties in the future.

Parents seeking guidance on how to resolve disputes at the local level may contact the Special Education Division of the Illinois State Board of Education at 217/782-5589, or through the agency's toll-free parent line at 866/262-6663 and ask to speak to a consultant. Additional information on resolving disputes at the local level can be found by visiting the website of the Consortium for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education (CADRE) at http://www.directionservice.org/cadre/.

If an individual believes that a school district has not complied with the law or that a child's educational rights has been violated, the individual should try to resolve the issues with the local school district, through the following steps:

If any such efforts to resolve issues at the district level are not successful and an individual believes that a more formalized action is necessary, he/she may submit a signed, written complaint to the Illinois State Board of Education.

Correspondence That Will Not Be Investigated Through the Formal Complaint Process

Correspondence That Will Be Investigated Through the Formal Complaint Process

Request for State Complaint Investigation

Per federal regulations at 34 CFR 300.509, this form has been developed to assist parents and other parties in filing a State complaint. The use of this form is recommended, but not required. The completed form should be sent to the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) as well as the child’s local school district or to the public agency that is serving the child.

*If the form is not used to submit a State complaint, a letter with the following information must be submitted: (a) signature and contact information for the person filing the complaint; (b) name and address of residence of the child; (c) the child’s birth date, gender and ethnicity; (d) district/school information; (e) a statement detailing the alleged violation(s) and the facts on which the statement is based (Note – The alleged violation(s) must have occurred within one calendar year prior to the date the complaint is received.); (f) a proposed resolution to the identified issue(s). If able, provide necessary documentation such as copies of Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). The complaint letter must be forwarded to the local school district or the public agency serving the child, and should also be sent to:

The Illinois State Board of Education
Special Education Services Division
100 North First Street
Springfield, Illinois 62777-0001

Issues Impacting Complaint Investigations

Complaint Procedures/Resolutions

Due Process

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