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Policy for Complaint Procedures for Elementary & Secondary Education Act Programs and Competitive Grants

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) was established by the Public Education Reform Amendment Act of 2007 to “serve the state education agency and perform the functions of the state education agency for the District of Columbia.”i As the District’s State education agency (SEA), OSSE is responsible for administration of most U.S. Department of Education (USED) programs funded by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, ii as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act, iii collectively referred to herein as “ESEA.”

An SEA must adopt written procedures for the receipt and resolution of complaints alleging violations of the law in the administration of ESEA programs.iv The complaint process is available for parties that believe an ESEA program was not administered in accordance with federal law and regulations. Prior to submission of a written complaint, the concerned party is encouraged to first communicate concerns with the specific authority most familiar with the matter to attempt to reach a resolution (e.g., the school where the incident arose). The concerned party may also contact the OSSE office assigned to that program with questions or concerns. While OSSE encourages the concerned party to first attempt to resolve the matter informally, such attempts are not legally required, and the concerned party may always submit a written complaint using the processes outlined in this document.

Related Content: Elementary & Secondary Education Act