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(6.16) What happens if I disagree with the district’s investigation decision?

(6.16) What happens if I disagree with the district’s investigation decision?

You may appeal directly to the CDE for review of the local decision within 30 days of the date of the district’s final written decision. [5 C.C.R. Sec. 4632(a).] Note that the 30 days start from the date of the decision, not the date you received the decision.

When appealing a district decision, your complaint to CDE must give one of these reasons for appealing. 

  1. The LEA failed to follow its complaint procedure;  
  2. Relative to the allegations of the complaint, the LEA Investigation Report lacks material findings of fact necessary to reach a conclusion of law;  
  3. The material findings of fact in the LEA Investigation Report are not supported by substantial evidence;  
  4. The legal conclusion in the LEA Investigation Report is inconsistent with the law; or 
  5. In a case in which the LEA found noncompliance, the corrective actions fail to provide a proper remedy. 

The appeal must include a copy of the original complaint and a copy of the local district decision. [5 C.C.R. Secs. 4632(b)-(c).]

If CDE finds that the school district failed to address one or more of your issues, it will refer those back to the district for investigation. The school district must investigate the omitted issues and issue an amended report within 20 days. [5 C.C.R. Sec. 4632(f).]

After the CDE notifies the district of the appeal, the district must forward to CDE a complete copy of its investigation file within 10 days. The CDE generally limits its review to the local investigation file, but may contact the parties for further information. If the Department finds that the district’s decision is supported by “substantial evidence” and that the district followed proper complaint investigation procedures, it will deny the appeal. If the local decision is not supported by substantial evidence or the required procedures were not followed, CDE may send the complaint back to the district for further investigation, or issue a decision based on the evidence in the file, or conduct more investigation itself and issue a decision on the complaint. [5 C.C.R. Sec. 4633.]