California parents of children with special needs look for help from the public school system in order to provide their children with an education. When a school system fails in that promise, parents have the opportunity to file compliance complaints. Recently, the state made some changes to the process that parents need to know about.
Compliance complaints can now include allegations regarding violations of settlement agreements made in reference to free appropriate public education provisions. Parents may also file complaints regarding a FAPE not including medically necessary physical or educational therapy along with concerns about physical safety. Finally, parents may file a complaint if a due process hearing order is not implemented.
Other changes include that the fact that parents must cooperate in investigations regarding their compliance complaints. In addition, if they want a reconsideration, they now only have 30 days in which to request it. The California Department of Education will now have 60 days to respond to such a request instead of 35. Another change involves how complaints are signed. They can now be signed electronically, typewritten or handwritten.
These changes can materially affect how parents of special needs children file and move through compliance complaints. The process was already complex enough for people to work through, and now, changing some of the rules regarding these claims could make the process even more challenging. Now more than ever, it would be a good idea for parents needing to make a complaint to work with an experienced special education law attorney.