ESSA Complaint Process

Section 9304(a)(3)(C) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 as amended by the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001 (P.L. 107-110) requires states to adopt written procedures for the receipt and resolution of complaints alleging violations of law in the administration of the programs in P.L. 107-110.

Local Level Resolution for ESSA Complaints

Every effort should be made to resolve the complaint at the district or school level before filing a complaint with the Florida Department of Education (FDOE). Typically, the school board policy will describe the parent grievance procedures. The local policy may require a meeting with the principal, central office administrators, and the school board. Once the local complaint process has been completed, if no resolution has been reached, the complaint may be submitted to the FDOE.

Complaint Procedures for ESSA

Individuals filing complaints must include the following written information:

  • The name of school, campus, or school employee alleged to have violated a specific federal requirement.
  • The specific requirement you believe has been violated.
  • The actions, facts, and documentation on which you base your complaint.
  • Documentation of the efforts to resolve the complaint through the local parent complaint process.
  • The resolution you expect.

Written complaints are accepted by mail, fax, e-mail, or in person. The FDOE must be able to verify the complainant’s name, phone number, and address in order to acknowledge receipt of the complaint. FDOE will not be able to appropriately respond to the complaint without contact information. FDOE requests a signature of the person filing the complaint. Send complaints to:

Bureau of Federal Educational Programs
Florida Department of Education
325 West Gaines Street, Room 348
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0400

Written complaints are forwarded to the appropriate state education agency (SEA) division for review and response. If additional information is needed, the SEA division will contact the person filing the complaint.

To ensure that you have properly accounted for the required components necessary for filing an official complaint, you can use the online ESSA complaint form. Fill out the required fields, print out the letter that is generated, and mail the signed form to the address above.

Complaint Resolution for ESSA

FDOE will respond to complaints about the requirements of ESSA within 45 days of receipt, unless an extension is needed because of extenuating circumstances. Complainants will be notified, in writing, if an extension will be needed and the reasons for the extension. The written resolution will include:

  • A statement of the federal program requirements involved.
  • A summary of the information, records, or data reviewed and considered.
  • The findings of fact.
  • The conclusions for each allegation, including the reasons for the conclusion.
  • Any technical assistance, negotiation, or corrective action that must occur and when the action must occur.

The written resolution will be mailed to the complainant and the superintendent of the school district or charter school against whom the allegations were made.