TEA Complaints Management

TEA is receiving an unprecedented number of concerns. As we process these matters, we appreciate your patience. You can always reach out to your local education agency if you need more immediate assistance.

A formal complaint to TEA must allege non-compliance with either federal or state laws or rules that are under the jurisdiction of TEA. The complaint must be in writing and signed and include the facts or documentation on which the allegation is based.

 
 

File complaints against a school district or charter school with TEA for:

  • Violations of programs required by federal law or programs for which the public education agency receives federal funds
  • Misuse of federal or state funds by a public education agency
  • Conditions at a school district or charter school that present a danger to the health, safety, or welfare of the students
  • Violations of duties defined by statute or rule of school district boards of trustees, governing bodies of public charter schools, or superintendents or chief operating officers of school districts and public charter schools
  • Violations of state assessment instrument security procedures
  • Falsifications, fraudulent misrepresentations, or manipulations of information, including manipulations of records, reports, data, forms, statements of assurances, or certifications submitted to TEA through the Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS)
  • Educator misconduct

 

Frequently Asked Questions

A complaint is a written claim that an organization does not follow school laws or rules that are under TEA's jurisdiction. Submitting a complaint to TEA Complaints Management after you have exhausted the local grievance process (Levels One-Three) does not meet the requirements as an Appeal to the Commissioner of Education under TEC §7.057. For more information on the appeal process, visit the Office of the General Counsel, Division of Hearings and Appeals page.

Any person, group of individuals, or organization may file a complaint.

TEA does not accept anonymous complaints. However, we do accept anonymous reports of violations involving:

  • Administration of tests in the state assessment program
  • Information or data fraud for school accountability
  • Fraud in state and federal programs and funds

TEA does not respond to courtesy copies of correspondence. We classify a courtesy copy as transitory information and maintain it only as long as needed.

Information sent to TEA by email may not be secure. Avoid sending confidential or sensitive information to TEA by email. TEA removes confidential or sensitive information when replying by email and maintains confidentiality of information as the law allows.

To review and address a complaint, TEA requires certain information. We must be able to identify a clear violation of a school law and determine whether we have authority to act upon the allegation.

  • Complainant’s full name and contact information
  • Name of the public education agency
  • Detailed description of the actions or decisions that violate a school law (leaving out identifying information for minors)
  • Evidence of a school law violation
  • Name of the school staff members notified and responses to the complaint
  • Indication of whether the complaint was filed with other agencies and responses from other agencies
  • The resolution requested
  • Full and accurate names of involved educators

Evidence of Local Process Attempt Required for Certain Violations:

If your complaint alleges that your school entity was not in compliance with certain state law requirements, although the issue could fall within the investigative jurisdiction of the TEA, your school entity is likely the appropriate entity to resolve your concerns in the most efficient manner. These matters include (but are not limited to) the following: 

  • Access to Student Records
  • Public Information Requests
  • Bullying Prevention Measures
  • Sexual Harassment Policies
  • Child Custody Issues
  • Staff Services Records
  • Curriculum and Related Issues
  • Student Discipline
  • Duty-Free Lunch/ Planning Period
  • Suicide Prevention Measures
  • Grading Policies/ Credit by Exam
  • Transportation Issues
  • Individual Student/ Teacher Issues
  • Trespass Warnings
  • Local Grievance Process
  • Truancy Prevention Measures

For these matters, before TEA launches a complaint review, the complainant must provide written evidence that he or she has attempted to address this issue through the applicable local process and must follow that process through completion. If a complaint review is warranted, TEA’s review will be limited to ensuring that the required local process and any associated procedures are in place and being followed. In these instances, TEA will hold your complaint for 15 calendar days from the date we receive this complaint so that you can produce evidence that local process and procedures are not in place and/or are not being followed to complaintsmanagement@tea.texas.gov. Failure to produce evidence by this date will result in TEA closing your complaint and taking no additional action. Please note TEA’s Investigation Divisions do not have the authority to investigate a school entity in order to overturn an outcome you received from the local process that you disagree with. Instead, you may have grounds to appeal the outcome of a school entity decision as described here. Additionally, failure to file a local grievance because it could be reviewed by an individual for whom you are complaining about does not relieve the complainant of this requirement.

Send correspondence and complaints to the Compliance & Investigations Office:

    Compliance & Investigations Office
    Texas Education Agency | 1701 N. Congress Avenue | Austin, TX 78701-1494
    Fax (512) 475-3665 or complaintsmanagement@tea.texas.gov

Correspondence and complaints are forwarded to the appropriate TEA office for proper review. TEA reviews the complaint to ensure that TEA has jurisdiction and authority to intervene or investigate. We also determine whether the complaint contains enough information to decide whether there is a violation of school law, if the allegation is true. If the complaint is insufficient or TEA does not have authority to address the complaint, we will notify the complainant.

If an investigation is authorized, the TEA sends a written notice to the district superintendent and complainant. The notice provides parties an opportunity to submit more information. After a preliminary review, the TEA notifies involved parties of the disposition of the complaint. By rule, the TEA must provide districts an opportunity for informal reviews or educators an opportunity to participate in a conference before finalizing the decision.

Preliminary findings are not final decisions. They are subject to changes following informal reviews or record reviews.

Investigations of a public agency are typically conducted under Chapter 11, Chapter 12, Chapter 39, Chapter 42 and Chapter 44 of the Texas Education Code or federal authority. Reviews are conducted under Chapter 157 of the Texas Administrative Code. Investigations of educator certification are conducted under 19 TAC Chapter 247 and 19 TAC Chapter 249.

TEA divisions have specific investigative procedures in place. Investigative procedures and timelines may differ depending on the program requirements.

A complaint resolution letter or investigation report is issued to the public education agency and complainant, if known.

There is no TEA appeal process for final decisions.

TEA follows the Texas Public Information Act for releasing information. Information can only be kept confidential to the extent allowed by law. TEA must maintain the confidentiality of all student information protected by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act. If a member of the public requests preliminary or audit working papers, the TEA may ask the Texas Office of Attorney General to except specific information from public disclosure.

TEA will not review complaints alleging violations that occurred more than two calendar years before the complaint is filed.

All complaints filed with the TEA must be in writing. We do not accept complaints by phone. A person or entity may file a written complaint with TEA by filling out the complaint form online or by mailing a hard copy to the address on the form.

If the complainant is not the parent of the student or an adult student filing on his/her own behalf, the complainant is referred to as a third party; and therefore, requires a FERPA release from the person standing in parental relation. Please attach the completed FERPA release form to your online complaint form, or email it to complaintsmanagement@tea.texas.gov

Complaints and correspondence received by email will receive an automated email response with general information about the complaints and local grievance processes. You may find this email in your inbox or your spam folder within 24 hours. Please note we are having difficulty receiving faxes during this time.

 

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TEA is receiving an unprecedented number of concerns. As we process these matters, we appreciate your patience. You can always reach out to your local education agency if you need more immediate assistance.

If a complaint leads to a special investigation (SI) under the conditions set out in TEC 39.003, TEA's Special Investigation Unit (SIU) will conduct the investigation according to Agency-approved procedures, as mandated in TEC 39.004.