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Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Complaint Process Spanish Language Version

Spanish Language Version

Section 9304(a)(3)(C) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (P.L. 107-110) requires the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) to adopt written procedures for receiving and resolving complaints about the administration of ESEA programs. ESEA is the primary federal law affecting K-12 education. The main goal of ESEA is to help all students in the state to reach proficiency in English language arts and mathematics.


This complaint process is available for parties that believe an ESEA program was not administered in accordance with federal law and regulations. A complaint must involve any one of the following entities:

  • School District
  • BOCES
  • Colorado Department of Education
  • ESEA Subgrantee
  • Education Services Vendor
  • Supplemental Education Services (SES) provider
  • State Agency

Before filing a complaint with CDE, every effort must be made to resolve the complaint at the local level with the parties involved. If the issue cannot be resolved at the local level, a complaint can be filed with CDE.


Filing a Complaint

To file a complaint, the ESEA Complaint Form below must be fully completed.

To save an electronic copy of your completed form:

1. Right-click on the link below;
2. Select "Save Target As . . ."
3. Save the form on your computer.
4. Complete the form.
5. Save your changes.

ESEA Complaint Form

The form requires a party to explain the nature of the complaint, the entities involved and the resolution being sought. See the complaint form for exact requirements.

There is a separate process and form for filing a complaint involving a state approved Supplemental Educational Services (SES) provider (see below).

Completed forms are accepted by certified mail or in person. No additions or corrections may be made to the written complaint once the complaint has been submitted, unless requested by CDE as set forth below. Parties should ensure that the complaint and all supporting documentation are complete before submitting a complaint.

Send complaints to:
Colorado Department of Education
Federal Programs Unit
Attn: Patrick Chapman
1560 Broadway, Suite 1450
Denver, Colorado 80202

CDE will send a copy of the complaint to all parties involved. Those entities will be allowed to respond to the complaint in writing within thirty (30) calendar days of receipt. No additional documents will be accepted from the responding party once the response is submitted, unless requested by CDE as set forth below.

CDE, at its discretion, may allow the parties to present additional information or evidence in person and/or in writing. No additional documents will be accepted from any party unless specifically requested by CDE.

Supplemental Educational Services Complaint Procedures

Supplemental educational services (SES) is Title I funded tutoring offered outside of the regular school day and designed to increase the academic achievement of low-income students in low-performing schools. These services may include academic assistance such as tutoring, remediation and other educational interventions. The main purpose of supplemental educational services is to increase the academic achievement in reading/language arts or mathematics of eligible students as measured by the state's assessment system and enable these children to attain proficiency in meeting the state academic achievement standards.

CDE has the responsibility to maintain a list of state approved SES providers that have demonstrated effectiveness in improving the academic achievement of students and conducting business in accordance with the state’s SES Code of Ethics. Accordingly, CDE will consider complaints involving a SES Provider(s) or districts implementing SES programs.

To file a complaint involving a district’s implementation of a SES program, use the ESEA complaint form provided above. To file a complaint involving a SES provider, the SES Complaint Form below must be fully completed.

To save an electronic copy of your completed form:

1. Right-click on the link below;
2. Select "Save Target As . . ."
3. Save the form on your computer.
4. Complete the form.
5. Save your changes.

SES Complaint Form

Completed forms are accepted by certified mail or in person. No additions or corrections may be made to the written complaint once the complaint has been submitted, unless requested by CDE as set forth below.

Send complaints to:
Colorado Department of Education
Federal Programs Unit
Attn: Patrick Chapman
1560 Broadway, Suite 1450
Denver, Colorado 80202

CDE will send a copy of the complaint to the SES provider and/or the SES provider’s employee(s) for review and response. The SES provider and/or the SES provider’s employee(s) will be allowed to respond to the complaint in writing within thirty (30) calendar days of receipt. No additional documents will be accepted from the SES provider and/or the SES provider’s employee(s) once the response is submitted, unless requested by CDE as set forth below.

CDE, at its discretion, may allow the parties to present additional information or evidence in person and/or in writing. No additional documents will be accepted from any party unless specifically requested by CDE.


Complaint Resolution

CDE will typically respond to properly submitted complaints within sixty (60) calendar days of receipt of the complaint or within 60 calendar days of receipt of a response by a named party or receipt of documents requested by CDE. CDE may extend the response timeline. If such an extension is necessary, CDE will notify all parties in writing of the reason for the extension and the new response timeline.

Depending on the nature of the complaint and the type of relief sought, CDE may not be able provide a resolution or remedy. If the complaint is beyond the scope of CDE’s authority, the parties will be informed in writing and directed to the appropriate entity to resolve the dispute.

CDE will issue a written resolution which will include the following:

  • A citation to and statement of the ESEA program requirements involved.
  • A summary of the information, records or data reviewed and considered.
  • 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 all parties involved. CDE’s written resolution is final - no further appeal may be made at the state level.

Any finding against a SES provider and/or the SES provider’s employee(s) will be made public and posted on the CDE Web site.

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Colorado Dept. of Education
201 East Colfax Ave.
Denver, CO 80203
Phone: 303-866-6600
Fax: 303-830-0793
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