Filing an ESSA Complaint
A complaint process can be used when an organization or individual (“complaint”) alleges a violation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Complaints may be filed against the individual school district, or the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) itself.
Why File a Formal Complaint?
The formal complaint process provides an opportunity for organizations and individuals to report possible ESSA violations.
What is Included in a Formal Complaint?
The complaint must include:
When May a Formal Complaint be Filed?
A formal complaint may be filed when an organization or individual believes that a recipient of funding has violated a requirement of a federal statute or regulation related to the administration of a program. 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.
In the event that a dispute should arise between the district and private school during consultation on how to provide equitable and effective programs to eligible participating private school students/teachers, including the use/non-use of contracted third-party providers, the following process will be used to resolve:
Private school officials have the right to file a complaint with the MDE if they feel that LEA officials have not complied with legal requirements.
Additionally, the private school may appeal to the MDE if there is a dispute involving the poverty data on private school students. Private school officials must inform the MDE with the basis of the Amite County School District’s non-compliance, and upon response from the MDE, forward the appropriate documentation.
How is a Formal Complaint Filed?
Complaints must be filed in writing and signed by the complainant. Complaint forms may be downloaded from the link below.
All formal complaints may be mailed to:
Ms. Mary L. Russ, Federal Programs Director
General Complaint Investigation Overview
Once the complaint is received, the federal programs director will review the matter to determine if it has been properly submitted. If so, the Federal Programs director or his or her designee will then conduct an investigation and examine all pertinent information. The investigation may include confirmation of details; clarification of the issues; interviews with the person filing the complaint, program staff, or other individuals; observations; on-site visits; and other activities as determined by the nature of the allegation. Within ten (10) days of receipt of the complaint, Amite County School District will issue a Letter of Acknowledgement to the complainant that contains the following information: 1. The date the LEA received the complaint; 2. How the complainant may provide additional information; 3. A statement of the ways in which the LEA may investigate or address the complaint; and 4. Any other pertinent information.
Click on the link below to access necessary documents and forms for filing a complaint.