Federal Complaint Procedures
Georgia Cyber Academy Complaint Procedures
Complainants are expected to address complaints or grievances beginning at the school level with the teacher first and then the administration. Next, central office personnel should be contacted should parents feel the issues have not been resolved. Conference forms/notes/minutes are kept on file as documentation of the issues.
Complaint procedures under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) are available from the School Operations Manager. The complaint procedures describe grounds for complaints, the federal programs for which complaints can be filed, filing and investigation of a complaint, as well as rights to appeal. The address to which complaints should be filed is included in the procedure. Information regarding complaint procedures is distributed annually to school administrators to share with their staff. Copies are kept on file in each school’s front office.
Complaint Procedures under ESEA
A. Grounds for a Complaint
Any individual, organization or agency (complainant) may file a complaint with the Georgia Cyber Academy Board if that individual, organization or agency believes and alleges that a violation of Federal statute or regulation that applies to a program under ESEA has occurred. The complaint must allege a violation that occurred not more than one (1) year prior to the date that the complaint is received unless a longer period is reasonable because the violation is considered systemic or ongoing.
B. Federal Programs for Which Complaints Can Be Filed:
- Title I, Part A: Improving basic Programs Operated by Local Educational Agencies
- Title I, Part A, Section 1003(g): School Improvement Grant - ARRA
- Title I, Part C: Education of Migrant Children
- Title I, Part D: Prevention and Intervention Programs for Children and Youth Who Are Neglected, Delinquent, or At-Risk
- Title II, Part A: Teacher and Principal Training and Recruiting Fund
- Title III, Part A: English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement
- Title IV, Part B: 21st Century Community Learning Centers
- Title X, Part C: McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act
- Race to the Top (RT3) (ARRA)
C. Complaints Originating at the Local Level
As part of its Assurances within ESEA program grant applications and pursuant to Section 9306 of ESEA, an LEA accepting federal funds must have local written procedures for the receipt and resolution of complaints alleging violations of law in the administration of covered programs. Therefore a complaint should not be filed with the Georgia Department of Education until every effort has been made to resolve through local written complaint procedures.
If the complainant has tried to file a complaint with Georgia Cyber Academy Board to no avail, the complainant must provide the Georgia Department of Education written proof of their attempt to resolve the issue with Georgia Cyber Academy Board.
D. Filing a Complaint
A formal complaint must be filed in writing and signed by the complainant. The complaint must include the following:
- A statement that the LEA has violated a requirement of a Federal statute or regulation that applies to an applicable program;
- The date on which the violation occurred;
- The facts on which the statement is based and the specific requirement allegedly violated (include citation to the Federal statute or regulation);
- A list of the names and telephone numbers of individuals who can provide additional information;
- Whether a complaint has been filed with any other government agency, and if so, which agency;
- Copies of all applicable documents supporting the complainant’s position; and
- The address of the complainant.
The complaint must be mailed or delivered to Georgia Cyber Academy Board Counsel, Alexa Ross:
Alexa Ross, Esq.
ALLOY BELINFANTE LITTLEFIELD LLC
999 Peachtree St NE - Suite 1120
Atlanta, GA 30309-3996
The complaint must be e-mailed to Alexa Ross and Kenneth Tennyson, Georgia Cyber Academy Board Chair:
E. Investigation of Complaint
Within ten (10) days of receipt of the complaint, GCA Board or Board Designee will issue a Letter of Acknowledgement to the complainant that contains the following information:
- The date complaint received;
- How the complainant may provide additional information;
- A statement of the ways in which complaint may investigated or addressed; and
- Any other pertinent information.
If additional information or an investigation is necessary, the school system will have sixty (60) days from receipt of the information or completion of the investigation to issue a Letter of Findings. If the Letter of Findings indicates that a violation has been found, corrective action will be required and timelines for completion will be included. The 60-day timelines may be extended, if exceptional circumstances exist. The Letter of Findings will be sent directly to the complainant.
F. Right of Appeal
If the complaint cannot be resolved at the local level, the complainant has the right to request review of the decision by the Georgia Department of Education. For complaints filed pursuant to Section 9503 (20 U.S.C. 7883, complaint process for participation of private school children), a complainant may appeal to the Georgia Department of Education no later than thirty (30) days from the date on which the complainant receives the Letter of Findings. The appeal must be accompanied by a copy of the school system’s decision and include a complete statement of the reasons supporting the appeal.