Complaints and Investigations
Compliance & Inquiries Division
Quick Resource Guide
|I want to...||Resource|
|Find answers to questions related to COVID issues||TEA COVID Guidance|
|Ask questions related to COVID issues||Disasterinfo@tea.texas.gov|
|Express comments or concerns||Feedback|
|Find answers to other common questions||Inquiries|
|To report a violation of school law follow these steps||Complaints|
|Appeal to the Commissioner of Education||Hearings and Appeals|
|Find answers to Educator Certification issues||TEA Help Desk|
It is important to note that TEA has jurisdiction over public school districts and charter schools and not other educational or child entities such as private schools, daycares, and universities.
Other Educational & Childcare Entities
Texas Private School
Accreditation Commission (TEPSAC)
3801 N Capital of TX Hwy
Suite E-240 PMB 173
Austin, TX 78746
Texas Health and Human
Services Commission (THHSC)
Office of the Ombudsman
P O Box 13247
Austin, TX 78711-3247
Fax: 1-888-780-8099 (Toll-Free)
Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB)
1200 E. Anderson Lane
Austin, TX 78752
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 online complaint form.
Additional information about how to file a complaint can be found on the TEA Complaints Management page. Answers to frequently asked questions about the TEA complaints process located on this page also provides useful information.
The Texas Education Agency has jurisdiction to investigate violations of school law concerning Texas public school entities (such as school districts and charter schools), certified educator certificate holders, and educator preparation programs. TEA has authority to investigate violations of IDEA by TEA as well as customer service complaints. You may refer complaints against TEA to the following agencies as appropriate:
|For Complaints Against TEA Regarding:||Refer to:|
Fraud, Waste, and Abuse
Public Information Request Violations
U.S. Department of Education - Office for Civil Rights (USDE-OCR)
If you are in disagreement with decisions made by your local school entity that they are authorized by law to make, please note, filing a complaint is not the appropriate process for these matters. TEA lacks authority to substitute its judgment for the school entity where they have authority to make a decision. In this circumstance, you might consider filing a local grievance. Some grievances are appealable to TEA's Commissioner through the Hearings and Appeals process. For more information, please see the Hearings and Appeals page.
Special Education Complaints
Parents of special education students with concerns about special education rights can file their complaints directly with the TEA. Refer to the Division of Special Education's Dispute Resolution Process for more information, forms, and contacts for filing a special education-related complaint.
These parents also have additional rights and procedural safeguards under the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). For more information, please contact the Division of Special Education at (512) 463-9414.
Other Public School District & Charter School and Educator Misconduct Complaints
For matters that do not violate a state law or rule within TEA's investigative jurisdiction, you may file a local grievance. For more information, view the General Inquiry web page. Please request a local grievance form from your school district or charter school.
To file a formal complaint to TEA about public school district or public charter school actions and/or educator misconduct, you must allege in writing that a school district, charter school, and/or a certified educator has violated a law or rule within the jurisdiction of TEA. Refer to the complaint process of the Division of Compliance & Investigations for more information, forms, and contacts. You may also use this form for the following violation types.
- 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.
- 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 online complaint form and type "McKinney-Vento Homeless Education" in the "Other" section under #3 Complaint Description. For more information on the procedures and process for local disputes please contact your district’s McKinney-Vento Homeless Liaison.
- Test Security Complaints
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.
TEA Customer Service Complaints - Compact with Texans
Under state law, government agencies are required to create a "Compact with Texans" page that sets customer service standards and outlines the agency's procedures for responding to formal complaints from the public regarding customer service provided by TEA staff. Refer to the Compact with Texans page for more information and contacts for filing a complaint about TEA customer service.
Refer to the Complaints Handled by Other Agencies page for information and contacts about matters typically addressed by other agencies.
- 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.
- Civil Rights (including Section 504 violations)
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.
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 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/.
Special Investigations are conducted by TEA's Special Investigations Unit (SIU).
Texas Education Code Sec. 39.003 SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS (Transferred, redesignated and amended from Education Code, Section 39.057 by Acts 2021, 87th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1046 (S.B. 1365), Sec. 2.04, eff. September 1, 2021.)
Texas Education Code Sec. 39.004 CONDUCT OF SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS (Transferred, redesignated and amended from Education Code, Section 39.058 by Acts 2021, 87th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1046 (S.B. 1365), Sec. 2.04, eff. September 1, 2021.)
(a) The agency shall adopt written procedures for conducting special investigations, 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 investigation.
(b) After completing a special investigation, the agency shall present preliminary findings to any person or entity the agency finds has violated a law, rule, or policy.
The Office of General Inquiry provides general information and resources on matters related to the rights and responsibilities of parents under Chapter 26 of the Texas Education Code (TEC).
- 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).