Use these steps to file a complaint to request a an investigation by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE).
This is not the same as going to a due process hearing for special education with ISBE.
1. Gather a paper trail
It is important that you have proof of what went wrong with your request. It is not likely that you will be successful in a complaint without a paper trail that clearly shows how the school failed.
Example: The school wrote in the child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP), “Johnny needs occupational therapy to benefit from special education. But because we don’t provide occupational therapy the parents must pay for it.” Johnny's parents should send a copy of the IEP with their letter and highlight this part. In the letter they should ask that Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) order the school to give Johnny the occupational therapy that Johnny needs. The parents should also ask ISBE to order the school to pay them back for money spent on private occupational therapy. They should send copies of the bills and proof of payment for the therapy.
2. Send the letter and paper trail to ISBE
You must either write a letter to the school district or use the form on the ISBE website and send it to the address listed below:
Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE)
100 N. First Street
Springfield, IL 62777-0001
You should include the following information:
- Your name and address
- Your child's name and address
- The name and address of the school
- A detailed description of what the school did wrong so that ISBE can understand what happened, when it happened, and the reason for the different treatment
- Any supporting papers, or paper trail, that show how the school treated your child differently
3. Wait for ISBE decision
ISBE will review your letter and send a copy to the school. Then ISBE will ask the school district to send them a report of the school's position on the facts stated in your letter.
ISBE has 60 days to resolve your complaint. The ISBE will write a report giving their decision, whether or not there was a violation.
If ISBE finds that the school violated IDEA, the report will also state what the school must do to fix the problem, and how long the school has to fix the problem. If the school does not follow ISBE's report, ISBE may take further action.