IDEA State Complaint

Any person or organization alleging a public agency violated the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) or implementing Montana laws may file an IDEA state complaint with OPI.  Public agencies include the Local Educational Agency (LEA), also known as a school district, or other public agencies that have responsibility for providing education to students with disabilities.

Once a complaint has been filed, the Early Assistance Program (EAP) staff has 15 business days to work with the parties and attempt resolution of the issues in the complaint.  If resolution is futile or unsuccessful, the Dispute Resolution Office will request a response from the school district or public agency and conduct an appropriate investigation.  The investigation could include appointing an investigator, conducting interviews (telephonically or onsite) with school staff, parents or others that have knowledge of the issues, as well as a review of relevant documentation.  Following an appropriate investigation, the Dispute Resolution Office will review all relevant information, make an independent determination as to if any violation has occurred, and issue a final report addressing the allegations in the complaint within 60 calendar days of the filing of the state complaint.  The decision reached in the final report is not appealable.

Although parties are not required to use OPI’s state complaint form, one is available to assist with the process.  For more information or to request a state complaint form, please contact the Dispute Resolution Office for Special Education at (406) 444-2046.

Other Resources:

Frequently Asked Questions About IDEA State Complaints

IDEA Special Education Part B Procedural Safeguards Notice (see pages 6-7) 

CADRE Parent Guide IDEA Special Education Written State Complaints

Montana IDEA Special Education Dispute Resolution Comparison Chart