school personnel can I file with the Education Department?
Generally, a complaint should be filed if you have information that a
certified educator has been convicted of a crime or committed an act that
raises a serious question as to his or to her moral character, or when you
believe that the conduct of a teacher or administrator poses a threat to the
welfare of a child or a school community. Complaints concerning incompetence,
negligence, or dissatisfaction with teaching style or philosophy will typically
not result in State action against certification. Those issues should be reported
directly to your local school district.
or superintendent of schools, before filing with the State?
We encourage you to file your complaint at the local level first since
many complaints against certificate holders are satisfactorily resolved at
this level with remedial action. This office, however, has the authority to
initiate a separate investigation against a
You may file a complaint against a teacher who is employed in a non-public
school if the teacher is certified. This office has the authority to investigate
the conduct of certificate holders and refer the matter to the professional conduct
officer for action when appropriate.
This office only has the authority to investigate individuals who hold
or who are applicants for certification. Generally, teaching assistants are
certified by the Education Department and teacher aides are not. Complaints
against an uncertified individual should be directed to the school principal or
to the superintendent of schools.
Receipt of your complaint will be acknowledged in writing. Thereafter, it
will be assigned to an investigator, who may contact you to discuss your
complaint in greater detail.
If the investigation fails to support sufficient evidence to proceed, the case will be
of the case. If after investigation there is a sufficient basis to initiate action against
the questioned certificate holder, a recommendation will be made to the State
Professional Standards and Practices Board for Teaching to consider whether to
proceed to a formal administrative hearing.
As part of the hearing process, evidence will be presented and testimony provided
by witnesses and others to address whether the certificate holder lacks good moral
character. The Department may ask you to testify under oath at the hearing.
The range of penalties includes the imposition of a fine, continuing education,
certificate suspension, certificate revocation, and the denial to be issued a certificate
in the case of an applicant.