DEFINITION: A complaint is a formal written statement addressed to the Chair of the District Advisory Council and the LEA representative of the school district citing an alleged violation of a provision of the Title I ESEA Law, a regulation or regulations dealing with the law, or one or more provisions of the General Provisions for Programs.
The district must take appropriate action on all such complaints including:
- Forward a copy of all such written complaints to the State Title I Office in St. Paul within five (5) days of receipt of the document.
- State a hearing process on the complaint as specified below.
The complaint should be directed to the chairperson of the district-wide PAC with copies to the LEA representative and the clerk of the local school board. The chairperson will then:
- Call a meeting of the district-wide Advisory Council.
- Within twenty (20) days if a regularly scheduled meeting has already been set, the complaint item must be included in the agenda.
- Within fifteen (15) days if no regular meeting will fulfill (a) above, a special notice in writing must be mailed to all members of the PAC apprising them of the situation and of the time and place of the meeting.
- In either case, time must be allowed for:
- the complainant, who must be present, to offer her/his evidence, and
- the district staff or others accused to present their rebuttal or offer a defense.
- All complaint meetings must fulfill the following requirements:
- Have a competent stenographer present who will take careful notes and collect copies of all documents presented.
- Meet in a convenient public location with a sufficiently large room to comfortably hold the expected audience.
- Publish and/or post a notice ten (10) days in advance in place(s) used for all other school district notices.
- Open the meeting to the general public and to all affected employees of the district.
- Permit any who are willing to identify themselves to speak to the issue.
- Decide the issue by recorded vote at the close of the meeting.
- Send a complete record of the hearing, as transcribed by the stenographer, including the decision of the District Advisory Council deliberation, within fifteen (15) days after the hearing to the State Title I Office.
If the complaint is brought by member(s) or officer(s) of the District Advisory Council, such person(s) must excuse themselves from participation in the deliberation of the Council’s decision of the complaint.If the district-wide Advisory Council is unable to reach a consensus acceptable to the district and/or the complainant, the matter must be referred to the Commissioner of Education, Minnesota Department of Education, located at 1500 West Highway 36, Roseville, MN 55113-4266. S/he or an agent will hold an informal meeting with the concerned parties at a convenient time and place both within twenty (20) days of the receipt of the notice of the lack of consensus. This meeting will also be open to the public. A decision will be made at the conclusion of the meeting.If resolution of the problem cannot be obtained after the meeting indicated above, the matter will be referred to the United States Commissioner of Education in accordance with the provisions of P.L. 95-561, Section 168 (in all cases where the SEA is informed of a complaint at the local level, the Office of Education will be kept informed.)