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Parent Grievance Process

Unlike some other states people may be moving from, Colorado is -- both by citizen preference and state law -- a "local control" state. This means that many pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade public education decisions -- on issues such as curriculum, personnel, school calendars, graduation requirements, and classroom policy -- are made by the 178 school districts and their local school boards.

The State Board of Education and CDE are in place to provide guidance and direction for the local districts, and to act as a link to many Federal and State services. In cases of a grievance against a school, CDE is almost always a point of last resort. Before bringing any question regarding school policy or a specific decision affecting a student to the attention of the Department, the issue should be pursued by contacting the responsible parties in this order:

  1. Teacher
  2. School Principal
  3. District Superintendent
  4. Local School Board Members
  5. The Colorado Department of Education
  6. Legal Action

If you have followed the first four steps and still feel that your issue is not being given the attention it deserves, you should then contact the CDE Field Service Manager for your region of the state. Contact information for this person can be found on our CDE Colorado Education Regions Web Page. Click on the state map for contact information for your region.

For additional information, e-mail: Jhon Penn at