Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), parents and advocates can use a number of dispute resolution options when they believe that a school is failing to serve students as required under federal law. One of those options is the written state complaint (WSC). According to the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA), the written state complaint process contains serious flaws. COPAA’s study, “IDEA Written State Complaints: Making the System More Accessible, Responsive and Equitable for Students with Disabilities,” uncovered a range of problems that diminished parents’ efforts to ensure their students are protected under the law. Those flaws are said to result in some states producing less favorable outcomes for families.

States with the most favorable outcomes for parents and advocates who filed complaints included Alaska, Idaho, Wyoming, California and Nebraska for the 2019-20 school year. States with the least favorable outcomes for parents and advocates that year were Louisiana, North Dakota, Iowa, Nevada and West Virginia.

According to K-12 Dive, the report also identified some positive findings, for example that just over 90% of investigations nationally were completed within the required 60-day time limit in 2019-20.

For more from K-12 Dive, click here.

To view the COPAA report, click here.