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Complaints and Appeals

File a Complaint

Use the form linked above to file a complaint regarding Division 22 Standards, discrimination, restraint and seclusion, retaliation or religious entanglement.

To file a complaint regarding the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), email Special Education Legal Specialist Elliot Field.

Frequently Asked Questions
Click on the "+" next to the question to read the answer.

​The Oregon Department of Education accepts complaints and appeals involving Division 22 standards, discrimination, restraint and seclusion, retaliation, religious entanglement and special education.

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​For some types of complaints, a parent or student may file the complaint directly with the Oregon Department of Education. These complaints include religious entanglement and special education. For other types of complaints, a parent or student must first file the complaint with the school district and complete the school district’s complaint process. The department accepts these complaints “on appeal.” These complaints include Division 22 standards, discrimination, restraint and seclusion, and retaliation. To learn more about the department’s processes for accepting complaints, you may contact Complaint and Appeals Coordinator Mark Mayer​​.

​Oregon is known as a "local control state." In local control states, locally elected school boards regulate the public schools located within their school districts. The Oregon Department of Education does not have the authority to accept a complaint unless a federal or state law allows or requires the department to investigate and enforce the law. To learn more about the department’s ability to accept complaints, you may contact Complaint and Appeals Coordinator Mark Mayer​​.

​Even if the Oregon Department of Education cannot accept your complaint, it can be a resource for you. The department has experts on everything ranging from in-district transfers to private schools. To reach the right expert, you may contact Elena Mandujano​​.

​If a student attends a public charter school, a private alternative education program, or a private school, the law might apply to the student differently than it applies to a student attending a regular public school. To learn more about public charter schools, you may contact Charter School Specialist Kate Pattison. To learn more about private alternative education programs, you may contact Alternative Education Specialist Annie Marges. To learn more about private schools, you may contact Joni Gilles​.

​If a school district is deficient, the Oregon Department of Education will order the school district to correct the deficiency.

Under the law, the department cannot order a school district to pay damages or attorney fees. The department is limited to ordering school districts to receive training, implement procedures, develop written policies, or perform other functions that will ensure that the school district will not violate the law in the future.

If a school district does not correct a deficiency, the department may withhold a State School Fund payment or a portion of State School Fund payment from the district.

To learn more about what remedies are available to you, you may contact Complaint and Appeals Coordinator Mark Mayer​​.

  • ​Behavior and Discipline Education Specialist Lisa Bateman is an expert on restraint and seclusion law. Lisa is also an expert on bullying and harassment and student discipline. You may email Lisa or call her at (503) 947-5655.
  • Civil Rights Education Specialist Winston Cornwall is a civil rights specialist and receives complaints of discrimination specific to race, color, religion, national origin, age, and disability. Winston also provides instruction, training, and mediation services. You may email Winston or call him at (503) 947-5675.
  • Special Education Legal Specialist Elliot Field​ is the principal investigator for complaints filed under IDEA. Elliot is also the department’s legal specialist on matters related to special education and student services. You may email Elliot or call him at (503) 947-5797.
  • Joni Gilles is the Oregon Department of Education’s ombudsman of private schools. You may email Joni​ or call her at (503) 947-5638.
  • Complaint and Appeals Coordinator Mark Mayer is the principal investigator for Division 22, retaliation, and religious entanglement complaints. Mark is also the complaints and appeals coordinator for the department. You may email Mark or call him at (503) 947-0464.
  • Civil Rights Education Specialist Karin Moscon receives complaints of discrimination specific to sex, sexual orientation, gender identify and marital status. Karin also provides instruction, training, and mediation services. You may email Karin or call her at (503) 947-5706.
  • Charter School Specialist Kate Pattison provides technical and legal support to public charter schools and school districts in overseeing public charter schools. Kate also assists persons starting public charter schools, families with students enrolled in public charter schools, and anyone else who has questions about public charter schools. You may email Kate or call her at (503) 580-5749.
  • Alternative Education Specialist Annie Marges provides technical and legal support to private alternative education programs and school districts in overseeing such programs. Annie also assists families with students enrolled in alternative private education programs and anyone else who has questions about such programs. You may email Annie​ or call her at (503) 934-0787.
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Click here if you wish to file a complaint involving a Division 22 standard, discrimination, restraint and seclusion, retaliation, or religious entanglement, or you may contact Complaint and Appeals Coordinator Mark Mayer​​ via email or call him at (503) 947-0464. If you wish to file a complaint under IDEA, please contact Special Education Legal Specialist Elliot Field​.

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