Complaints and Investigations
Complaints to TEA
The Texas Education Agency accepts reports of fraud involving state and federal programs and funds, including information or data report to TEA used for school accountability purposes.
To report fraud, file a written complaint with TEA by filling out the complaint form online or by mailing or faxing a hard copy to the address on the form.
Additional information about how to file a complaint can be found on the TEA Complaints Management webpage. Answers to frequently asked questions about the TEA complaints process also provide useful information.
For details about how to file a complaint, choose the link below that describes your concern:
- Local School Matters
Raise concerns about local school matters with the local administration first. The local school matters page includes examples of concerns that should be handled locally, like school staffing, academics, student conduct, facilities, or finance, and guidance about how to file a complaint. Spanish speakers are available (se habla español).
- School District or Charter School Actions
To file a formal complaint to TEA about school district or charter school actions, you must allege that a school district or charter school has violated a law or rule in the administration of a program required or administered by the TEA or with respect to funds awarded or allocated by the TEA. The school district or charter school actions page provides details.
- Special Education
The special education page includes information, forms, and contacts for filing a special education-related complaint.
- Test Security
Each person who participates in the Texas student assessment program is responsible for reporting any violation or suspected violation of test security or confidentiality. Instructions for filing a complaint about any incident that results in a deviation from documented testing procedures to be a testing irregularity are on that page.
- McKinney-Vento Homeless Education
Disputes regarding eligibility, school selection, or enrollment under the McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program will be reviewed by TEA’s Complaints Division and the State Coordinator of Homeless Education at TEA. Please fill out and submit the TEA Complaint Form and select "McKinney-Vento Homeless Education" in Box 3. For more information on the procedures and process for local disputes please contact your district’s McKinney-Vento Homeless Liaison.
- Driver Training
Education Service Center Region 13’s Driver Training Division is the single point of contact for all driver training programs in Texas, including complaints.
- Educator Preparation Programs (EPPs)
TEA's EPP page has instructions for candidates and applicants who feel an EPP did not fulfill requirements for certification or broke the law. EPPs may also follow those instructions to file a complaint about the actions of other EPPs on behalf of a candidate transferring into their program.
- Civil Rights
Civil rights complaints allege that a public school discriminates against students on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex or disability in admission or access to, or treatment in the district’s programs or activities. These complaints are under the jurisdiction and authority of the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR). Visit the OCR website for details about when and how to file a complaint. OCR and TEA enforce several federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities that receive federal funds. In addition, TEA reviews school discrimination complaints and informs individuals of the appropriate complaint resolution options.
- TEA Customer Service
You may file a complaint about TEA customer service from our Compact with Texans page. Under state law, government agencies are required create a "Compact with Texans" that sets customer service standards and outlines the agency's procedures for responding to public contacts and complaints.
- Fraud, Waste, or Abuse
Report fraud via the State Auditor’s Office fraud, waste, or abuse hotline. These include allegations related to funds from the General Appropriations Act, Federal Stimulus or American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, or Hurricane Ike relief funds.
- Complaints Handled by Other Agencies
TEA only handles complaints related to violation of school law or the agency itself. Examples of complaints handled by other agencies are listed on that page.
Reporting Fraud, Waste or Abuse in Texas
Anyone can report fraud, waste or abuse involving state and federal resources or concerning Texas public schools and Education Service Centers.
The State Auditor’s Office (SAO) investigates allegations of fraud, waste or abuse related to funds from the following:
- The General Appropriations Act – expenditures by state agencies, colleges and universities or use of state grant money
To report fraud, waste, or abuse, call the SAO Hotline at 1-800-TX-AUDIT (892-8348) or visit the State Auditor's Office website at https://sao.fraud.texas.gov/ReportFraud.
Special Accreditation Investigations
Special Accreditation Investigations (SAI) are conducted by TEA's Special Investigations Unit (SIU).
Texas Education Code Sec. 39.058. CONDUCT OF SPECIAL ACCREDITATION INVESTIGATIONS (as amended by H.B. 1842, 84th Legislature, Regular Session)
(a) The agency shall adopt written procedures for conducting special accreditation investigations under this subchapter, including procedures that allow the agency to obtain information from district employees in a manner that prevents a district or campus from screening the information. The agency shall make the procedures available on the agency Internet website. Agency staff must be trained in the procedures and must follow the procedures in conducting the special accreditation investigation.
(b) After completing a special accreditation investigation, the agency shall present preliminary findings to any person or entity the agency finds has violated a law, rule, or policy. Before issuing a report with its final findings, the agency must provide a person or entity the agency finds has violated a law, rule, or policy an opportunity for an informal review by the commissioner or a designated hearing examiner.