Uniform Complaints Procedures or a UCP Complaint
A Uniform Complaint Procedures or UCP complaint is a written statement alleging discrimination, harassment, or a violation of a federal or state law or regulation. A UCP complaint must be filed by way of the Uniform Complaint Procedures as written in the California Code of Regulations, Title 5, sections 4600-4687. Issues that may involve filing a complaint using the UCP are under various state and federal programs that use categorical funds such as Adult Education, Career Technical And Technical Education And Training Programs, Child Care And Developmental Programs, Child Nutrition Programs, Consolidated Categorical Aid Programs, Federal Safety Planning Requirements, Migrant Education, and Special Education Programs.
Not all complaints fall under the scope of the UCP. Many concerns are the responsibilities of the LEAs, including, hiring and evaluation of staff, classroom assignments, student advancement and retention, selection/provision of textbooks and materials, student discipline, provision of core curricula subjects, facilities, graduation requirements, homework policies and practices, use of general education funds and dress codes and school uniforms.
The following documents describe the process in filing a complaint. Topics include referring complaint issues, Local Educational Agency (LEA) responsibilities, LEA policies and procedures, filing a local complaint, time lines, appealing LEA Decisions, department resolution procedures, the on-site investigation process, and the investigation and final report procedures of the California Department of Education (CDE).
Williams Settlement Information and Complaint Rights
A Williams Complaint, another type of UCP complaint, regards instructional materials, emergency or urgent facilities conditions that pose a threat to the health and safety of pupils, and teacher vacancy or misassignment and may be filed anonymously.
This is a result of a class action lawsuit filed in 2000 by 100 San Francisco students and settled by the State of California and California Department of Education in 2004. Steps were implemented to insure that all schools had equal access to sufficient instructional materials, qualified teachers, and safe and well-maintained facilities. Every year, inspectors make scheduled and unscheduled visits to our schools to check for compliance. The following items are addressed under Williams:
- There should be sufficient textbooks and instructional materials. For there to be sufficient textbooks and instructional materials, each student, including English learners, must have a textbook or instructional material, or both, to use in class and to take home.
- School facilities must be clean, safe, and maintained in good repair. Good repair means that the facility is maintained in a manner that assures that it is clean, safe and functional as determined by the Office of Public School Construction.
- There should be no teacher vacancies or misassignments as defined in Education Code 35186(h)(2) and (3). Misassignment means the placement of a certificated employee in a teaching or services position for which the employee does not hold a legally recognized certificate or credential or the placement of a certificated employee in a teaching or services position that the employee is not otherwise authorized by statute to hold. Teacher vacancy means a position to which a single designated certificated employee has not been assigned at the beginning of the year for an entire year or, if the position is for a one-semester course, a position to which a single designated certificated employee has not been assigned at the beginning of a semester for an entire semester.
Complaint forms may obtained at the Lancaster School District Office, the school principal's office or on the California Department of Education's website at http://www.cde.ca.gov/re/cp/uc/ or by accessing the file below. Complaints will not be rejected if the form is not used as long as the complaint is submitted in writing.
The same form (below) is used for both a standard Uniform Complaint and a Williams Complaint.