or individual (“complainant”) may file a formal complaint  alleging
a violation of the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015  (ESSA) against
a Georgia school district, 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC)
program, or the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) itself.
Why File a
complaint process provides an opportunity for organizations and individuals to
report possible ESSA violations. Prior to filing a formal complaint, we encourage individuals to read the frequently asked questions(FAQs) which provide additional information regarding the complaint process.
Included in a Formal Complaint?
The complainant’s contact
information (name, address, phone number, and email address);
The date(s) on which the alleged
violation(s) occurred and the date(s) on which any school district, 21st
CCLC program, or GaDOE action or decision regarding the alleged violation was
issued, if applicable;
The facts and documentation on
which the complaint is based;
The specific federal requirement
allegedly violated (include citation to the federal statute or regulation, if
Documentation or an explanation
of efforts to resolve the complaint;
Contact information for other
individuals who can provide additional information, if applicable (name,
telephone number, address, and email address);
Whether a complaint has been
filed with any other agency and, if so, which agency; and
A proposed resolution to the
When May a
Formal Complaint be Filed?
complaint may be filed when an organization or individual believes that a
recipient of funding has violated a requirement of a federal statute or
regulation related to the administration of a program. The complaint must
allege a violation that occurred not more than one (1) year prior to the date
that the complaint is received, unless a longer period is reasonable because
the violation is considered systemic or ongoing. The federal ESSA programs for which formal
complaints may be filed and investigated are:
Title I, Part A – Improving Basic
Programs Operated by Local Educational Agencies
Title I, Part A – School
Improvement Grants, referred to as 1003(a) and 1003(g)
Title I, Part C – Education of
Title I, Part D – Prevention and
Intervention Programs for Children and Youth Who Are Neglected, Delinquent, or
Title II, Part A – Supporting
Title III, Part A – Language
Instruction for English Learners and Immigrant Students
Title IV, Part A – Student
Support and Academic Enrichment
Title IV, Part B – 21st Century
Community Learning Centers
Emergency Relief Funds CARES Act, CRRSA Act, ARP Act
McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. A parent, guardian, or
unaccompanied youth may also file a complaint under Title IX, Part A – the McKinney-Vento
Homeless Assistance Act, and the process for filing a complaint is the same as
it is for the ESSA federal programs. Unique to the McKinney-Vento
Homeless Assistance Act, however, is the GaDOE’s role in also resolving disputes
regarding a final decision over eligibility, school selection or enrollment in
a school made at the school district level. Each school district must have a
McKinney-Vento dispute resolution process to address issues regarding eligibility,
school selection or enrollment in a school. If the parent, guardian, or
unaccompanied youth disagrees with the school district’s decision and the
school district’s appeal process has been exhausted, a request may be filed
within 10 business days for the GaDOE to review the final decision of the
Equitable services. Formal complaint procedures
regarding a school district’s or a 21st CCLC program’s equitable services for
children attending private school are found on the State Ombudsman webpage.
How is a Formal
best filed electronically through GaDOE’s secure online complaint link.
The link below may be used to submit the online complaint.
Supporting documentation should be provided, if applicable and available.
Complaint Link: Complaint/Comment
complaint may also be mailed to the following address:
Georgia Department of Education
Federal Programs Director
205 Jesse Hill Jr. Drive SE
1854 Twin Tower East
Atlanta, Georgia 30334
Complaint Investigation Overview
receives the complaint, the federal programs director will review the matter to
determine if it is properly before GaDOE. If so, the Federal Programs
director or his or her designee will conduct an investigation and examine all
pertinent information. The investigation
may include confirmation of details; clarification of the issues; interviews
with the person filing the complaint, the school district or 21st
CCLC program, GaDOE program staff, or other individuals; observations; on-site
visits; and other activities as determined by the nature of the
allegation. The general complaint investigation time frame is 30
are some general actions that take place during a complaint
- The assigned GaDOE staff member
notifies and works with the school district, 21st CCLC program, or
GaDOE program to understand and resolve the complaint.
- If appropriate, opportunities to
submit additional information are given to the complainant once GaDOE staff has
received the response from the school district or 21st CCLC program.
- Within 30 days of the receipt of
the complaint, the GaDOE will issue a written decision to the complainant and
the school district or 21st CCLC that addresses each allegation in
the complaint and contains, if appropriate, findings of fact and determinations
of compliance or noncompliance. Please note that the timeline may be
extended to accommodate for mediation or other extenuating circumstances with
respect to a complaint.
- If there is a violation of the
law or regulations, a resolution will be required. The resolution may include
technical assistance activities, corrective actions, or both to achieve
- If the complainant and the school
district or 21st CCLC program resolve the complaint before the GaDOE
investigation is complete, the complaint will be closed without making a
determination regarding compliance.
public school districts, 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC)
programs, or the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) are all recipients of
federal ESSA funding.
Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the Every
Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA).