Charter School Complaint Process
Charter schools are required to operate in a manner consistent with federal and state laws and regulations including MGL c. 71 §89 and 603 CMR 1.00.
Charter schools are required to implement a complaint procedure as outlined in 603 CMR 1.09: Complaint Procedure.
The Office of Charter Schools and School Redesign is the unit at the Department that supports and oversees the creation and sustainability of a variety of high quality public school options-including those that innovate in the areas of instructional practice, time, resources, and technology-to ensure that all students in the Commonwealth have equitable access to a pathway to success after high school.
Contact the Charter School Office:
Office of Charter Schools and School Redesign
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148
Access Charter School Questions and Answers
Filing a Complaint about a Charter School
Important Note: A complaint regarding special education or student safety may be filed directly with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's (Department) Problem Resolution System Office. You do not need to follow the three steps listed here.
In the event that a charter school is not operating in compliance with legal requirements, you should first contact the school's administrators, as they are in the best position to immediately address your concerns.
If contacting the school administration does not result in a resolution, or if the complaint relates specifically to charter school requirements under MGL c. 71 §89 and 603 CMR 1.00, a complaint should be next be filed with the school's Board of Trustees (Board), which is the governing body of the school. Complaints can be filed with the Board either verbally or in writing, but the Department recommends that complaints be filed in writing, be signed, dated, and contain a specific statement of your issue and the desired outcome. The Board must respond in writing to your complaint within 45 days as noted in 603 CMR 1.09.
If the Board's response does not adequately address your concerns, or if the Board does not respond in writing to your complaint within 45 days, the complaint may be submitted in writing to the Commissioner of Education at the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (Commissioner) via the Department's Problem Resolution System Office. The Department's Problem Resolution System Office will investigate the complaint on behalf of the Commissioner.
For information on contacting the Problem Resolution System Office or to file a complaint online, please visit the Problem Resolution System Office website.
Last Updated: October 1, 2020