ESSA Complaint Procedures

MSD of Decatur Township
ESSA Complaint Procedures

The Federal Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015, Public Law 114-95, requires MSD of Decatur Township (LEA) to adopt procedures for resolving complaints regarding operations of programs authorized under the Act, including Title I, Title II, Title III, Title IV (Part A), Title V, Title VI, and Title VII and Title IX, part C.

Who May File a Complaint?

A complaint may be filed by parents, teachers, or other concerned individuals or organizations.

Definition of a Complaint

There are both formal and informal complaint procedures.

A formal complaint must be a written, signed statement that includes:

  1. an allegation that a federal statute or regulation applicable to the local education agency (LEA) program has been violated,
  2. facts, including documentary evidence that supports the allegation, and
  3. the specific requirement, statute, or regulation being violated.

An informal complaint would be defined as a verbal or anonymous complaint to the LEA by individuals who may ask not to be identified.

Informal Complaint Procedures

Informal complaints made to the LEA will be subject to an initial investigation by the LEA.

Precise processes for an informal complaint are as follows:

  1. The complaint will be investigated by the LEA within 10 days of receipt of the complaint.
  2. Findings of this investigation shall be reported to the complainant within 10 additional days.

In the event that the complainant requests further investigation or a hearing, the complainant must file a signed written complaint. This formal complaint will be processed according to procedures outlined in the section below.

Formal Complaint Procedures

  1. Upon receipt of a written complaint, a record of the source and nature of the complaint, including the applicable program involved in the complaint, statute violated and facts on which the complaint is based, will be initiated. If the formal complaint is received by a school within the LEA, the school administrator must forward the formal complaint to the district’s Title I office within 24 hours of receipt of the complaint.
  2. The LEA will notify the Indiana State Department of Education within 15 days of any formal complaints.
  3. The LEA will issue a letter of acknowledgement to the complainant that contains the following information:
    1. The date the LEA received the complaint;
    2. How the complainant may provide additional information;
    3. A statement of the ways in which the LEA may investigate the complaint;
    4. The LEA’s commitment to issue a resolution in the form of a “Letter of Findings”.
  4. The LEA will investigate the complaint within 15 days of the date of the complaint.
  5. The “Letter of Findings” will be sent to the complainant within 30 days of the receipt of the complaint. The LEA has an additional 30 days to issue the “Letter of Findings” if exceptional conditions exist.


If the complainant is not satisfied with the findings of the LEA then the complainant can issue a written appeal to the Indiana Department of Education’s Office of Compensatory Education. The appeal must be received by the SEA within 30 days of the LEA’s “Letter of Findings”.

Additional Responsibilities of the LEA’s District Title I Office

  1. To maintain a record of all formal complaints.
  2. To make available these procedures on its Title I Website and at the central office.
  3. To disseminate complaint findings and resolutions to all parties to the complaint and the LEA school board. Such findings and resolutions also shall be available to parents, teachers and other members of the general public, provided by the LEA, free of charge, if requested.