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Complaints Addressed by Other Agencies

 

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) only handles complaints related to violation of school law or about the agency itself. The following are complaint matters typically addressed by other agencies:

Discrimination

The federal Office for Civil Rights (OCR) enforces several Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination
in programs or activities that receive Federal funds from the Department of Education (DOE). These laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, disability, and age, and extend to all state education agencies and public school systems. These laws include Section 504Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO).

TEA has a review process for school discrimination complaints and will inform individuals of the complaint resolution options. Resources and information related to discrimination claims are available from the US Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, and its Section sites. For Texas, a person can write the Dallas Regional Office at 1999 Bryan Suite 2600; Dallas, TX; 75201. A person may call 214.661.9600, fax 214.661.9587, or email OCR@ed.gov. The US DOE Office for Civil Rights website provides instructions and a complaint form.

Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

FERPA gives parents access to their children's education records, an opportunity to request record changes, and some control over the disclosure of information from the records. Complaints alleging violations of FERPA are reviewed by the US Department of Education Family Policy Compliance Office.

Health concerns

Hazardous conditions or health standards in school facilities are reviewed by the Department of State Health Services.

Wage disputes

Public school employee employment claims, including wage and salary disputes involving public schools are typically addressed by Texas Workforce Commission.

Criminal activity

Allegations of criminal conduct involving school employees should be reported to law enforcement and school officials. The TEA does not conduct criminal investigations, which include matters that fall under the Texas Penal Code. For example, allegations that a school employee has tampered with a government document, such as a student record, should be reported to the district attorney's office in the county or other appropriate prosecutorial authorities.

Ethics

Open Government Ethics, which include the Texas Open Meetings Act and the Texas Public Information Act are under the Texas Government Code. The Office of the Attorney General maintains an Open Government website and hotline to provide resources and assistance to individuals who have questions about open government ethics.

School board elections

School board member elections are reviewed by the Secretary of State's Office.

Fraud, waste, and abuse

Fraud, waste, and abuse of state resources can be reported to the State Auditor's Office Fraud Hotline. The State Auditor's Office website describes other types of SAO investigations.

Interscholastic activities

The University Interscholastic League (UIL) governs competitive sports and programs in schools. The UIL-TEA Side-by-Side Handbook is a resource for understanding the requirements and dispute resolution process.

Education institutions other than public K-12 schools

The Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) addresses matters involving post-secondary public institutions, colleges, and universities.

Private school accreditation can be verified through the Texas Private School Accreditation Commission (TEPSAC).

 Home Schooling information and resources are available through the Texas Home School Coalition.

Page last modified on 4/17/2014 11:42:35 AM.