Filing a Grievance: Background
We appreciate, respect and welcome the voice of parents/guardians and their views pertaining to the progress their children are making towards academic excellence.
Section 2855 (4) of the NYS Charter Schools Act (p. 16) provides that parents or any other individuals who believe that a charter school has violated a term of its charter or the law may complain formally to the school and seek relief.
Authorizers are responsible for making sure that each charter school is executing and performing within the guidelines, standards and goals set forth in their charter agreement.
Although all NYC charter schools reside geographicallywithin the 5 boroughs of NYC, charter schools are independent Local EducationalAgencies ("LEAs"), and are not subject to most NYC Chancellor'sRegulations, but rather to the regulations set forth in Article 56 of the NYSCharter Act, as well as NY State Education Law, sections of NY GeneralMunicipal Law, and some federal education laws. Further, the protocol andescalation process differs slightly for each authorizing entity.
How to File a Grievance
Below is the escalation process for filing a grievance for schools authorized by NYC DOE CSAS. For a list of charter schools in NYC and their authorizers, click here.
1. Contact the school leadership: Contact school leadership for violations, issues or complaints. We encourage parents to document events and familiarize themselves with the school's guidelines and reference materials. Such items include, but are not limited to parent handbooks, student discipline policy guidebooks, dress code pamphlets, school issued memorandums,etc.
2. Appeal to the school’s board of trustees: If a parent or guardian is not satisfied with the outcome or decision pertaining to the incident, the parent may appeal to the school's board of trustees. The board meets publicly on a regular basis. Parents are encouraged to contact the board to schedule items on the meeting agenda or with the committee that deals with such matters.
3. Appeal to the school’s authorizer: If a parent is not satisfied with the board of trustee's decision, the parent may appeal to the school's authorizer. Each charter school is governed by a board of trustees and is subject to oversight by its authorizer. For New York City, there are three authorizers:
- SUNY - CSI Authorized Schools: For concerns regarding a school authorized by the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York,you may either contact the Institute at 518/433-8277, ext. 2045 or to parent resources web link .
- NYSED Authorized Schools: For concerns regarding schools authorized by the New York State Board of Regents, please visit the NYSED web site .
- NYCDOE Authorized Schools: For concerns regarding schools authorized by the New York City Schools Chancellor (NYCDOE), please complete the Parent Complaint Form included in the Key Documents box at right and mail it to NYCDOE – Charter School Office, 52 Chambers Street, Room 413, New York, NY, 10007. You can also email it to firstname.lastname@example.org For more information about the process for NYCDOE authorized schools, please feel free to contact us at (212) 374-5419.
4. Appeal to the New York State Board of Regents: The last escalation point for a parent who decides that after going through the first three levels of the appeal process he or she is still not satisfied with the outcome, is to contact the NY State Board of Regents at this telephone number (518) 474-3852 or the following address:
Public Schools Choice
Room 462 EBA
New York State Education Department
89 Washington Avenue
Albany, New York 12234