Report 2016-109 All Recommendation Responses

Report 2016-109: Uniform Complaint Procedures: The California Department of Education's Inadequate Oversight Has Led to a Lack of Uniformity and Compliance in the Processing of Complaints and Appeals (Release Date: January 2017)

Recommendation for Legislative Action

To ensure the requirements of the UCP are consistent for complaints and appeals Education handles, the Legislature should codify the UCP regulations to, among other things, prescribe consistent time frames for completing all investigations of complaints and reviews of appeals by Education.

Description of Legislative Action

Legislation has not been introduced to address this specific recommendation.

  • Legislative Action Current As-of: January 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: No Action Taken


Recommendation for Legislative Action

To ensure the requirements of the UCP are consistent for complaints and appeals Education handles, the Legislature should codify the UCP regulations to, among other things, identify a consistent time limit for filing UCP complaints.

Description of Legislative Action

Legislation has not been introduced to address this specific recommendation.

  • Legislative Action Current As-of: January 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: No Action Taken


Recommendation #3 To: Education, Department of

To ensure that it consistently processes complaints and appeals in a timely manner and that it investigates and reviews all UCP complaints and appeals in compliance with state law and regulations, by July 2017 Education should designate a central office to receive all complaints and appeals. This central office should distribute complaints and appeals to the correct divisions for investigation or review.

1-Year Agency Response

Education continues to not concur with the recommendation to designate a central office to receive all complaints and appeals for the reasons set forth in our prior responses. However, Education strengthened coordination within the department with the full implementation of a customized central database that tracks UCP complaints and appeals. The database has been fully operational as of September 2017.

  • Response Date: February 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Will Not Implement

Based on the Education's response and the documentation it provided, it is unclear whether the central database that Education refers to in its response would prevent or mitigate the effects of receiving complaints and appeals by an incorrect division. As we stated in the report, we believe that a central office for receiving complaints and appeals would help eliminate complainants' confusion about where to send a complaint or appeal and would streamline the process by preventing complaints and appeals from going to an incorrect division.


6-Month Agency Response

Education continues to not concur with the recommendation to designate a central office to receive all complaints and appeals for the reasons set forth in the response. However, Education purchased software (Time Matters by LexisNexis) and worked with an outside vendor to create a customized central database for tracking UCP complaints and appeals to ensure resolution in a timely manner. Training on the new database was conducted in July 2017, and it is anticipated that the database will be fully operational by September 2017.

  • Response Date: August 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Will Not Implement

It is unclear whether the software that Education refers to in its response would prevent or mitigate the effects of receiving complaints and appeals by an incorrect division. As we stated in the report, we believe that a central office for receiving complaints and appeals would help eliminate complainants' confusion about where to send a complaint or appeal and would streamline the process by preventing complaints and appeals from going to an incorrect division.


60-Day Agency Response

Education continues to not concur with the recommendation to designate a central office to receive all complaints and appeals for the reasons set forth in the response. However, Education is developing a centralized database that can increase coordination within the department.

  • Response Date: April 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Will Not Implement

As we stated in the report, we believe that a central office for receiving complaints and appeals would help eliminate complainants' confusion about where to send a complaint or appeal and would streamline the process by preventing complaints and appeals from going to an incorrect division.


Recommendation #4 To: Education, Department of

To ensure that it consistently processes complaints and appeals in a timely manner and that it investigates and reviews all UCP complaints and appeals in compliance with state law and regulations, by July 2017 Education should designate a central office to receive all complaints and appeals. This central office should establish a single database to record and track all investigations of complaints and reviews of appeals. This database should capture all data necessary for Education to effectively make informed decisions related to UCP complaints or appeals. At a minimum, the database should capture the date on which Education received each complaint or appeal, the date on which it forwarded the complaint or appeal to the appropriate division for investigation or review, and the date on which it sent the decision to the complainant. The database should also include the type of complaint or appeal, the LEA involved, and the decision.

1-Year Agency Response

Education finalized the customization of a central database for tracking UCP complaints and appeals and the database has been fully operational as of September 2017. Uniform procedures for entering data have been established and implemented. In addition, a user-guide was developed to ensure all data is entered in a uniform and consistent manner.

  • Completion Date: September 2017
  • Response Date: February 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Partially Implemented

Although Education has established a central database for tracking UCP complaints and appeals, in its response to Recommendation 3 Education states it continues to not concur with the recommendation to designate a central office to receive all complaints and appeals. Therefore, we consider this recommendation partially implemented.

  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

6-Month Agency Response

Education purchased software (Time Matters by LexisNexis) and worked with an outside vendor to create a customized central database for tracking UCP complaints and appeals to ensure resolution in a timely manner. Training on the new database was conducted in July 2017, and it is anticipated that the database will be fully operational by September 2017.

  • Estimated Completion Date: September 2017
  • Response Date: August 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Pending


60-Day Agency Response

Education is developing a centralized database that can increase coordination within the department.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 6/30/2018
  • Response Date: April 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending


Recommendation #5 To: Education, Department of

To ensure that it consistently processes complaints and appeals in a timely manner and that it investigates and reviews all UCP complaints and appeals in compliance with state law and regulations, by July 2017 Education should designate a central office to receive all complaints and appeals. This central office should track the divisions' progress in processing complaints and appeals to ensure the divisions meet all UCP requirements, including documenting exceptional circumstances that constitute good cause for extending investigations beyond 60 days.

1-Year Agency Response

Education strengthened coordination within the department with the full implementation of a customized central database that tracks UCP complaints and appeals. The database has been fully operational since September 2017.

  • Completion Date: September 2017
  • Response Date: February 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Pending

Although Education states that it has developed a centralized database that can increase coordination within the department, this action alone does not address the point of this recommendation. Without a process to monitor the divisions' progress in processing complaints and appeals to ensure the divisions meet all UCP requirements, Education cannot ensure that it consistently processes complaints and appeals in a timely manner and that it investigates and reviews all UCP complaints and appeals in compliance with state law and regulations.


6-Month Agency Response

Education continues to not concur with the recommendation for the reasons set forth in our prior responses. However, Education purchased software (Time Matters by LexisNexis) and worked with an outside vendor to create a customized central database for tracking UCP complaints and appeals to ensure resolution in a timely manner. Training on the new database was conducted in July 2017, and it is anticipated that the database will be fully operational by September 2017.

  • Response Date: August 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Will Not Implement

Although Education states that it is developing a centralized database that can increase coordination within the department, this action alone does not address the point of this recommendation. Without a process to monitor the divisions' progress in processing complaints and appeals to ensure the divisions meet all UCP requirements, Education cannot ensure that it consistently processes complaints and appeals in a timely manner and that it investigates and reviews all UCP complaints and appeals in compliance with state law and regulations.


60-Day Agency Response

Education continues to not concur with the recommendation to designate a central office to receive all complaints and appeals for the reasons set forth in the response. However, Education is developing a centralized database that can increase coordination within the department.

  • Response Date: April 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Will Not Implement

Although Education states that it is developing a centralized database that can increase coordination within the department, this action alone does not address the point of this recommendation. Without a process to monitor the divisions' progress in processing complaints and appeals to ensure the divisions meet all UCP requirements, Education cannot ensure that it consistently processes complaints and appeals in a timely manner and that it investigates and reviews all UCP complaints and appeals in compliance with state law and regulations.


Recommendation #6 To: Education, Department of

To ensure that it consistently processes complaints and appeals in a timely manner and that it investigates and reviews all UCP complaints and appeals in compliance with state law and regulations, by July 2017 Education should designate a central office to receive all complaints and appeals. This central office should work with divisions to establish policies and procedures for the divisions to follow when investigating UCP complaints and reviewing appeals. The procedures should identify the individuals or units responsible for investigating complaints and reviewing appeals, the steps and time frames for conducting investigations and reviews, the requirements for issuing decisions, and the documentation that should be retained in the files.

1-Year Agency Response

Education continues to not concur with the recommendation to designate a central office to receive all complaints and appeals for the reasons set forth in our prior responses. Education is finalizing the report to the Legislature, required by the

2017-18 State Budget Act, and will submit it in February 2018. The report will provide an update on the customized central database for tracking UCP complaints and appeals and plans to engage stakeholders to review potential legislative and regulatory changes. Education is updating policies and procedures as necessary and to be consistent with legislative and regulatory changes.

  • Estimated Completion Date: December 2018
  • Response Date: February 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Pending


6-Month Agency Response

Education continues to not concur with the recommendation to designate a central office to receive all complaints and appeals for the reasons set forth in our prior responses. In addition, while policies and procedures are not required in law, Education will address existing policies and procedures for processing complaints and appeals as deemed necessary.

Education was notified that the Legislature was interested in receiving additional information when the Senate Budget Subcommittee No. 1 proposed including the requirement for a report on legislative changes to the UCP process regarding timeframes for completion of investigations and reviews of appeals in the Senate's budget on May 17, 2017. As a result, supplemental report language was included in the 2017-18 state budget that was signed by the Governor on June 27, 2017. Education is now required to submit a report to the Legislature no later than November 30, 2017, with recommendations for any legislative changes to the Uniform Complaint Procedures (UCP) process on timeframes for completion of investigations and reviews of appeals. The required report shall also include an update on Education's efforts to centralize tracking of UCP complaints and appeals and to streamline UCP processes across divisions. Education anticipates follow-up discussions with the Legislature as a result of the information provided in the report.

  • Estimated Completion Date: December 2018
  • Response Date: August 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Pending

As we stated in the report, we believe that a central office for receiving complaints and appeals would help eliminate complainants' confusion about where to send a complaint or appeal and would streamline the process by preventing complaints and appeals from going to an incorrect division. We will review Education's future responses to this recommendation to assess its efforts in working with the Legislature to address this recommendation.


60-Day Agency Response

Education continues to not concur with the recommendation to designate a central office to receive all complaints and appeals for the reasons set forth in the response. However, Education is developing a centralized database that can increase coordination within the department. In addition, while policies and procedures are not required in law, Education will address existing policies and procedures for processing complaints and appeals as deemed necessary. Education will also initiate discussions with the Legislature in regard to establishing consistency in statute.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 6/30/2018
  • Response Date: April 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending

As we stated in the report, we believe that a central office for receiving complaints and appeals would help eliminate complainants' confusion about where to send a complaint or appeal and would streamline the process by preventing complaints and appeals from going to an incorrect division. Education states that it will address existing policies and procedures as deemed necessary and will initiate discussions with the Legislature in regard to establishing consistency in statute.


Recommendation #7 To: Education, Department of

To ensure that it consistently processes complaints and appeals in a timely manner and that it investigates and reviews all UCP complaints and appeals in compliance with state law and regulations, by July 2017 Education should designate a central office to receive all complaints and appeals. This central office should establish and distribute a standard investigation report format that includes the required elements for the divisions to use when processing UCP complaints.

1-Year Agency Response

While a standard investigation report is not required in law, Education addressed this recommendation by implementing the use of a customized central database, which requires entering standard information for the UCP appeals.

  • Completion Date: September 2017
  • Response Date: February 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Pending

The documentation that Education provided does not demonstrate that the database it refers to in its response is designed to generate a standard investigation report format that includes the required elements.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation
  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

6-Month Agency Response

Education continues to not concur with the recommendation to designate a central office to receive all complaints and appeals for the reasons set forth in the response. However, while a standard investigation report is not required in law, Education will address existing policies and procedures for processing complaints and appeals as deemed necessary.

  • Response Date: August 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Will Not Implement

As we stated in the report, we believe that a central office for receiving complaints and appeals would help eliminate complainants' confusion about where to send a complaint or appeal and would streamline the process by preventing complaints and appeals from going to an incorrect division.


60-Day Agency Response

Education continues to not concur with the recommendation to designate a central office to receive all complaints and appeals for the reasons set forth in the response. However, while a standard investigation report is not required in law, Education will address existing policies and procedures for processing complaints and appeals as deemed necessary.

  • Response Date: April 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending

As we stated in the report, we believe that a central office for receiving complaints and appeals would help eliminate complainants' confusion about where to send a complaint or appeal and would streamline the process by preventing complaints and appeals from going to an incorrect division.

Nevertheless, Education's response indicates that it will address existing policies and procedures for processing complaints and appeals as deemed necessary.


Recommendation #8 To: Education, Department of

To ensure that it consistently processes complaints and appeals in a timely manner and that it investigates and reviews all UCP complaints and appeals in compliance with state law and regulations, by July 2017 Education should designate a central office to receive all complaints and appeals. This central office should monitor the divisions' decisions and reports on complaints and appeals to ensure that they comply with requirements.

1-Year Agency Response

Education continues to not concur with the recommendation to designate a central office to receive all complaints and appeals for the reasons set forth in prior responses, but remains committed to processing complaints and appeals as required.

Education is finalizing the report to the Legislature, required by the 2017-18 State Budget Act, and will submit it in February 2018. The report will provide an update on the customized central database for tracking UCP complaints and appeals and plans to engage stakeholders to review potential legislative and regulatory changes. Education is updating policies and procedures as necessary and to be consistent with legislative and regulatory changes.

  • Estimated Completion Date: December 2018
  • Response Date: February 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Pending

We will review Education's future responses to assess its efforts in working with the Legislature to address this recommendation.


6-Month Agency Response

Education continues to not concur with the recommendation for the reasons set forth in our prior responses, but remains committed to processing complaints and appeals as required.

Education was notified that the Legislature was interested in receiving additional information when the Senate Budget Subcommittee No. 1 proposed including the requirement for a report on legislative changes to the UCP process regarding timeframes for completion of investigations and reviews of appeals in the Senate's budget on May 17, 2017. As a result, supplemental report language was included in the 2017-18 state budget that was signed by the Governor on June 27, 2017. Education is now required to submit a report to the Legislature no later than November 30, 2017, with recommendations for any legislative changes to the Uniform Complaint Procedures (UCP) process on timeframes for completion of investigations and reviews of appeals. The required report shall also include an update on Education's efforts to centralize tracking of UCP complaints and appeals and to streamline UCP processes across divisions. Education anticipates follow-up discussions with the Legislature as a result of the information provided in the report.

  • Estimated Completion Date: December 2018
  • Response Date: August 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Pending

We will review Education's future responses to assess its efforts in working with the Legislature to address this recommendation.


60-Day Agency Response

Education continues to not concur with the recommendation to designate a central office to receive all complaints and appeals for the reasons set forth in the response. However, to ensure efficiency and timeliness when processing complaints and appeals, Education is: (1) developing a centralized database that can increase coordination within the department; (2) increasing internal communication when a referral is necessary; (3) having internal discussions on implementing uniform policies and procedures across all division offices processing UCPs; and (4) initiating discussions with the Legislature in regard to establishing consistency in statute.

  • Response Date: April 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Will Not Implement

The steps that Education outlines are not adequate to ensure implementation of our recommendation. Without having a formal mechanism to monitor the divisions' decisions and reports on complaints and appeals, Education cannot ensure that its divisions' decisions and reports on complaints and appeals comply with requirements.


Recommendation #9 To: Education, Department of

To ensure that its regulations are consistent and align with state and federal requirements, by July 2017 Education should initiate revising its regulations to require its divisions to complete investigations of complaints and reviews of appeals related to all programs within 60 days of Education receiving them, including providing its decisions in writing to complainants, unless otherwise specified in statute or federal regulations.

1-Year Agency Response

Education's position on this recommendation remains unchanged; no additional comments will be forthcoming.

  • Response Date: February 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Will Not Implement

In its previous response Education stated that the reference to "align with state and federal requirements" in this recommendation is unclear, as the State Auditor's Office fails to identify any state or federal requirement with which Education's UCP is not currently aligned. This is the same language that it included in its initial response to the audit report. Similarly, we are also providing the same comment on its response: Our recommendation has two parts. The reference to aligning regulations with state and federal requirements refers to the second part of the recommendation (Recommendation 10) to allow Nutrition Services to investigate all complaints as direct intervention.


6-Month Agency Response

Education's status on this recommendation is unchanged; no additional comments will be forthcoming.

  • Response Date: August 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Will Not Implement

In its previous response Education stated that the reference to "align with state and federal requirements" in this recommendation is unclear, as the State Auditor's Office fails to identify any state or federal requirement with which Education's UCP is not currently aligned. This is the same language that it included in its initial response to the audit report. Similarly, we are also providing the same comment on its response: Our recommendation has two parts. The reference to aligning regulations with state and federal requirements refers to the second part of the recommendation (Recommendation 10) to allow Nutrition Services to investigate all complaints as direct intervention.


60-Day Agency Response

Education cannot comment on this recommendation. The reference to "align with state and federal requirements" in this recommendation is unclear, as the CSA fails to identify any state or federal requirement with which Education's UCP is not currently aligned.

  • Response Date: April 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Will Not Implement

Education has provided the same language that it included in its initial response to the audit report. Similarly we are also providing the same comment on its response: Our recommendation has two parts. The reference to aligning regulations with state and federal requirements refers to the second part of the recommendation (Recommendation 10) to allow Nutrition Services to investigate all complaints as direct intervention.


Recommendation #10 To: Education, Department of

To ensure that its regulations are consistent and align with state and federal requirements, by July 2017 Education should initiate revising its regulations to allow Nutrition Services to investigate all complaints as direct intervention.

1-Year Agency Response

Education's position on this recommendation remains unchanged; no additional comments will be forthcoming.

  • Response Date: February 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Will Not Implement

In its previous response Education stated that it received guidance from the USDA regarding referring complaints to LEAs per the UCP. It further indicated that based on the guidance, Education is required to comply with the USDA and investigate all federal child nutrition program complaints. However, as we noted to Education's previous response, our recommendation did not involve referring complaints to LEAs for investigation. Although the existing UCP regulations require complaints, including direct interventions, to be submitted in writing, our recommendation is for Education to revise its regulations to allow the Nutrition Services Division to investigate all complaints as direct intervention. This can include allowing the Nutrition Services Division to accept verbal complaints as direct intervention.


6-Month Agency Response

On June 6, 2017, Education received the following guidance from the USDA regarding our request to refer complaints to LEAs per the UCP. In accordance with 7 CFR 210.19, Education is required to investigate all complaints.

Section 210.19 Additional responsibilities.

(4) Investigations. Each State agency shall promptly investigate complaints received or irregularities noted in connection with the operation of the Program, and shall take appropriate action to correct any irregularities. State agencies shall maintain on file, evidence of such investigations and actions. FNS and OIG may make reviews or investigations at the request of the State agency or where FNS or OIG determines reviews or investigations are appropriate.

As a result of this guidance and the federal regulation, Education is required to comply with the USDA and investigate all federal child nutrition program complaints.

  • Response Date: August 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Will Not Implement

Our recommendation did not involve referring complaints to LEAs for investigation. Although the existing UCP regulations require complaints, including direct interventions, to be submitted in writing, our recommendation is for Education to revise its regulations to allow the Nutrition Services Division to investigate all complaints as direct intervention. This can include allowing the Nutrition Services Division to accept verbal complaints as direct intervention.


60-Day Agency Response

Education has considered this recommendation and is evaluating whether the UCP process could be utilized in handling complaints related to the federal child nutrition programs. Existing UCP regulations require complaints, including direct interventions, to be submitted in writing. However, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) requires state agencies to also accept and investigate verbal complaints. Therefore, Education will consider alternative options to this recommendation and seek the USDA's approval as necessary.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 12/31/2018
  • Response Date: April 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending

Although the existing UCP regulations require complaints, including direct interventions, to be submitted in writing, our recommendation is for Education to revise its regulations to allow the Nutrition Services Division to investigate all complaints as direct intervention. This can include allowing the Nutrition Services Division to accept verbal complaints as direct intervention.


Recommendation #11 To: Education, Department of

To ensure that it complies with UCP regulations and makes complainants aware of the outcome of investigations, beginning February 2017 Nutrition Services should provide them with investigation reports, even when the complainants request anonymity from the LEAs involved.

60-Day Agency Response

Commencing March 2017, if contact information is known, copies of closing letters along with the investigation reports are sent to the complainants.

  • Completion Date: March 2017
  • Response Date: April 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation for Legislative Action

To emphasize LEAs' ability to use alternative methods to resolve complaints, including mediation, alternative dispute resolution, or restorative practices, when codifying the UCP regulations, the Legislature should specify these as possible methods for resolving complaints.

Description of Legislative Action

Legislation has not been introduced to address this specific recommendation.

  • Legislative Action Current As-of: January 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: No Action Taken


Recommendation for Legislative Action

To make the provisions for extending investigations consistent between Education and LEAs, when codifying the UCP regulations, the Legislature should allow LEAs to extend investigations. Specifically, in the absence of an agreement from the complainant, allow LEAs to extend an investigation under exceptional circumstances that constitute good cause if the LEAs document and support with evidence the reasons for the extensions.

Description of Legislative Action

Legislation has not been introduced to address this specific recommendation.

  • Legislative Action Current As-of: January 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: No Action Taken


Recommendation #14 To: Los Angeles Unified School District

To minimize the number of complaints it receives through the UCP process that do not fall within the purview of UCP regulations, Los Angeles Unified should establish a mechanism that allows specified individuals for the districts to promptly discuss with complainants how best to address their issues or complaints and to determine whether their complaints fall under the purview of the UCP before they file complaints.

6-Month Agency Response

The District has and continues to develop mechanisms to proactively and informally address complainants' concerns in lieu of formal complaints under UCP.

  • Completion Date: January 2017
  • Response Date: July 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Fully Implemented

Los Angeles Unified provided documentation, as part of its 60-day response, to show that it has created a web page that encourages individuals to call its Educational Equity Compliance Office before filing a complaint. Although this process might take some time before it results in a reduced number of complaints filed by individuals that are deemed to be outside the purview of UCP, we believe that the actions that Los Angeles Unified has taken addresses our recommendation.


60-Day Agency Response

The District's website encourages stakeholders to call for resources/complaint options. EECO created an office email for more communication means. SEE website screenshots. The District advocates to call EECO via posters, brochures, policies and Parent Student Handbook distribution ensuring wide dissemination annually/encouraging communication. As a result, EECO provides daily phone support about complaints and redirects callers to appropriate resources. EECO trains UCP stakeholders resulting in better understanding of UCP.

EECO has partnered with Special Education in an ADR grant for compliance complaints. LAUSD is collaborating with an ADR specialist to train APs to resolve disputes proactively in all contexts.

EECO is hosting a 300 person conference. ADR, discrimination/harassment investigations and pupil fees are strands for practitioners to reduce escalation of complaints. Staff is trained in ADR/RJ/mediation for proactive resolutions.

LAUSD is implementing RJ in schools and recently considered it with parents.

EECO has refined systems for efficient intake, timelier responses and stakeholder education regarding complaint venues. Non-UCP complaints are received, but less time is spent. Previous complaint intakes occurred over two weeks versus intakes occurring in a few days now allowing investigators more time with UCPs with the bulk of time spent on investigating UCPs versus processing intakes.

CSA's audit equated Williams complaints as UCPs. Based on this and adding Williams to overall UCPs received (audit Table 3), non-UCPs are a smaller percentage of the whole than reflected in the audit. With Williams added to total complaints received during the audit scope, LAUSD received 340 non-UCPs out of 2,438 complaints received (1% non-UCPs).

  • Completion Date: February 2017
  • Response Date: February 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending

Los Angeles Unified's assertion that non-UCP complaints it received during the audit period represent 1 percent of all UCP complaints received does not negate the fact that it received a large number of non-UCP complaints--more than 300. Los Angeles Unified provided documentation to show that it has created a web page that encourages individuals to call its Educational Equity Compliance Office. However, considering that Los Angeles Unified implemented this new web page less than two months ago, insufficient data exists to verify its claim that refined systems for efficient intake, timelier responses, and stakeholder education regarding complaint venues has resulted in less time being spent on non-UCP complaints. We will assess the effectiveness of the steps that Los Angeles Unified has identified it has taken to implement this recommendation as part of its six-month response.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

Recommendation #15 To: San Juan Unified School District

To minimize the number of complaints it receive through the UCP process that do not fall within the purview of UCP regulations, San Juan Unified should establish a mechanism that allows specified individuals for the districts to promptly discuss with complainants how best to address their issues or complaints and to determine whether their complaints fall under the purview of the UCP before they file complaints.

6-Month Agency Response

San Juan Unified has worked with its Family and Community Engagement Department (FACE) to develop a process to meet this recommendation. FACE has developed a flyer to communicate the new process that outlines the steps to resolving complaints, including reaching out to school site administration for assistance. The flyer is meant to encourage complainants to first reach out to FACE to resolve their complaints before using the UCP process.

  • Completion Date: July 2017
  • Response Date: November 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Fully Implemented


60-Day Agency Response

Working with the Family and Community Engagement Department to determine ways to best address this recommendation.

  • Estimated Completion Date: Fall 2017
  • Response Date: March 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending


Recommendation #16 To: Education, Department of

To increase the efficiency and effectiveness of LEAs' UCP processes, Education should work with those LEAs throughout the State that receive a disproportionately high number of non-UCP complaints through the UCP process to assess the potential benefits of establishing similar mechanisms.

1-Year Agency Response

Education's position on this recommendation remains unchanged; no additional comments will be forthcoming.

  • Response Date: February 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Will Not Implement

As we state in our report, receiving a larger number of complaints that are not covered by the UCP can take time away from investigating those that do meet UCP criteria, making LEAs' processes less efficient. Although the UCP regulations allow LEAs to use the UCP process to address non-UCP complaints, we believe that LEAs can benefit from establishing a mechanism that allows specified individuals for the districts to promptly discuss with complainants how best to address their complaints and to determine whether their complaints fall under the purview of the UCP before they file their complaints. Further, as part of its monitoring of LEAs' compliance with UCP requirements, Education has access to an LEA's complaint log that identifies all complaints that an LEA investigation using the UCP process. As such, we believe that Education can work with those LEAs throughout the State that receive a disproportionately high number of non-UCP complaints through the UCP process and assess the potential benefits of establishing mechanisms to reduce the number of non-UCP complaints investigated through the UCP process.


6-Month Agency Response

Education's position on this recommendation is unchanged; no additional comments will be forthcoming.

  • Response Date: August 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Will Not Implement

As we state in our report, receiving a larger number of complaints that are not covered by the UCP can take time away from investigating those that do meet UCP criteria, making LEAs' processes less efficient. Although the UCP regulations allow LEAs to use the UCP process to address non-UCP complaints, we believe that LEAs can benefit from establishing a mechanism that allows specified individuals for the districts to promptly discuss with complainants how best to address their complaints and to determine whether their complaints fall under the purview of the UCP before they file their complaints. Further, as part of its monitoring of LEAs' compliance with UCP requirements, Education has access to an LEA's complaint log that identifies all complaints that an LEA investigation using the UCP process. As such, we believe that Education can work with those LEAs throughout the State that receive a disproportionately high number of non-UCP complaints through the UCP process and assess the potential benefits of establishing mechanisms to reduce the number of non-UCP complaints investigated through the UCP process.


60-Day Agency Response

Education does not concur with this recommendation. Districts are permitted to use the UCP process to address non-UCP complaints (5 CCR 4610(e)); however, Education does not have responsibility or oversight over non-UCP complaints. In addition, Education does not have knowledge of the districts that have opted to use the UCP process for non-UCP complaints.

  • Response Date: May 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Will Not Implement

As we state in our report receiving a larger number of complaints that are not covered by the UCP can take time away from investigating those that do meet UCP criteria, making LEAs' processes less efficient. Although the UCP regulations allow LEAs to use the UCP process to address non-UCP complaints, we believe that LEAs can benefit from establishing a mechanism that allows specified individuals for the districts to promptly discuss with complainants how best to address their complaints and to determine whether their complaints fall under the purview of the UCP before they file their complaints. Further, as part of its monitoring of LEAs' compliance with UCP requirements, Education has access to an LEA's complaint log that identifies all complaints that an LEA investigation using the UCP process. As such, we believe that Education can work with those LEAs throughout the State that receive a disproportionately high number of non-UCP complaints through the UCP process and assess the potential benefits of establishing mechanisms to reduce the number of non-UCP complaints investigated through the UCP process.


Recommendation #17 To: Los Angeles Unified School District

To ensure that it can defend its extensions of complaint investigations that are authorized by existing UCP regulations, Los Angeles Unified should obtain agreements from complainants before extending investigations beyond the required 60 days.

6-Month Agency Response

The District has conducted UCP investigations in required timelines; no extensions were warranted.

  • Completion Date: January 2017
  • Response Date: July 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Fully Implemented


60-Day Agency Response

EECO instituted use of an electronic date calculator through its case management software ensuring accurate calculation of due dates within the 60 days. Further CSA acknowledged as evident in the audit report, EECO subsequent to a previous year's CDE Federal Program Monitoring audit already uses any resources available to complete investigations within the 60 days. As a result, the District has increased the number of cases concluded within the 60 days noted in the audit and has minimized the number of extensions requested. Nonetheless, the District agreed with the auditor's recommendation and in extenuating circumstances, the District will seek to obtain extensions if needed in a manner consistent with the law.

The District recently underwent a Federal Program Monitoring review with the CDE under both UCP and Educational Equity. The District was found compliant in these areas.

SEE CDE Federal Program Monitoring 2016-17 UCP Audit Review Instrument; See CDE FPM 2016-17 Notification of Findings.

  • Completion Date: February 2017
  • Response Date: February 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending

Los Angeles Unified states that it will seek to obtain extensions if needed in a manner consistent with the law. However, it did not provide any documentation demonstrating that it did so for complaints that required such extensions subsequent to our report issued at the end of January 2017. Therefore, we have requested that Los Angeles Unified provide documentation with its six-month response demonstrating that it obtained agreements before extending investigations.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

Recommendation #18 To: San Diego Unified School District

To ensure that it can defend its extensions of complaint investigations that are authorized by existing UCP regulations, San Diego Unified should obtain agreements from complainants before extending investigations beyond the required 60 days.

60-Day Agency Response

We revised our Uniform Complaint processing list and flow chart to include a separate statement to request an extension if the response and investigation time will exceed 60 days. Copies of the list and flow chart have been provided. We also submitted a declaration by the current dedicated Title IX/Uniform Complaint Compliance Officer in which she states that for the only investigation since January which exceeded 60 days, she obtained a written extension.

  • Completion Date: February 2017
  • Response Date: April 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #19 To: San Juan Unified School District

To ensure that it can defend its extensions of complaint investigations that are authorized by existing UCP regulations, San Juan Unified should obtain agreements from complainants before extending investigations beyond the required 60 days.

60-Day Agency Response

Revised Board Policy and Administrative Regulation to include language about agreements.

  • Completion Date: March 2017
  • Response Date: March 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #20 To: San Juan Unified School District

To ensure its decisions are clear and comply with state regulations, San Juan Unified should include in its investigation reports all required elements, including clear conclusions of law and corrective actions with specific actions and timelines for completion. If it believes the requirements in UCP regulations are not clear, San Juan Unified should seek guidance from Education.

60-Day Agency Response

Board Policy and Administrative Regulation 1312.3 have been revised to include this specific language, and all required elements have been incorporated into the District's responses to the UCP complaints investigated and completed since the Audit recommendations were shared with the District in January 2017.

  • Completion Date: January 2017
  • Response Date: March 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #21 To: Los Angeles Unified School District

To ensure that it meets the legally required time frames for remedying issues alleged in Williams complaints, Los Angeles Unified's Educational Equity Compliance Office should work closely with the divisions responsible for addressing issues in the Williams complaints to ensure they are completed within the required time frame. Further, it should ensure that it maintains the appropriate documentation to demonstrate that it complied with requirements for remedying the issues in Williams complaints within 30 working days.

6-Month Agency Response

The District continues to meet legally required time frames for remedying Williams complaints through close work between the Educational Equity Compliance Office and responsible divisions and maintains appropriate documentation to demonstrate compliance.

  • Completion Date: January 2017
  • Response Date: July 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Fully Implemented


60-Day Agency Response

The EECO has revised its initial correspondence to division partners (e.g., Facilities, Instruction, Human Resources) addressing Williams complaints to emphasize the 30 business day timeline for remedying Williams issues and also sends reminder messages to relevant District partners to include references to the 30 business day to ensure compliance.

EECO shared final audit findings with the Divisions responsible for completing Williams-related remedies and highlighted findings related to Williams. Additionally, EECO continues to maintain and refine electronic tracking in its networked database including evidence of remedies and final case resolution correspondence per timelines. SEE examples of EECO Williams communications prior to the audit versus updated communications with attached Williams logs reflecting timelines for work completion.

  • Completion Date: February 2017
  • Response Date: February 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Partially Implemented

Los Angeles Unified provided documentation of revisions to its correspondence emphasizing the required timelines to demonstrate it is working closely with its divisions responsible for addressing Williams complaints. However, the documentation provided does not demonstrate that it is maintaining the appropriate documentation to support compliance with the requirements for remedying the issues in Williams complaints within 30 working days.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation
  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

Recommendation #22 To: Education, Department of

To ensure that its regulations are consistent and align with state and federal requirements, Education should revise its regulations to allow LEAs to extend investigations under exceptional circumstances that constitute good cause if the LEAs document and support with evidence the reasons for the extensions.

1-Year Agency Response

Education continues to assess the feasibility of the action being requested in the recommendation.

Education is finalizing the report to the Legislature, required by the 2017-18 State Budget Act, and will submit it in February 2018. The report will provide an update on the customized central database for tracking UCP complaints and appeals and plans to engage stakeholders to review potential legislative and regulatory changes.

  • Estimated Completion Date: December 2018
  • Response Date: February 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Pending


6-Month Agency Response

Education continues to assess the feasibility of the action being requested in the recommendation.

Education was notified that the Legislature was interested in receiving additional information when the Senate Budget Subcommittee No. 1 proposed including the requirement for a report on legislative changes to the UCP process regarding timeframes for completion of investigations and reviews of appeals in the Senate's budget on May 17, 2017. As a result, supplemental report language was included in the 2017-18 state budget that was signed by the Governor on June 27, 2017. Education is now required to submit a report to the Legislature no later than November 30, 2017, with recommendations for any legislative changes to the UCP process on timeframes for completion of investigations and reviews of appeals. The required report shall also include an update on Education's efforts to centralize tracking of UCP complaints and appeals and to streamline UCP processes across divisions. Education anticipates follow-up discussions with the Legislature as a result of the information provided in the report.

  • Estimated Completion Date: December 2018
  • Response Date: August 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Pending


60-Day Agency Response

Education continues to assess the feasibility of the action being requested in the recommendation.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 6/30/2018
  • Response Date: April 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending


Recommendation #23 To: Education, Department of

After it makes the recommended regulatory changes to allow extensions under exceptional circumstances, Education should review LEAs' extensions to investigations as part of its Federal Program Monitoring to ensure that LEAs' documentation is sufficient and that their reasons adequately justify such extensions.

1-Year Agency Response

Education's status remains unchanged (See response to Recommendation 22).

  • Estimated Completion Date: December 2018
  • Response Date: February 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Pending


6-Month Agency Response

Education's status is unchanged (see response to Recommendation 22).

  • Estimated Completion Date: December 2018
  • Response Date: August 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Pending


60-Day Agency Response

If it is determined that regulatory changes allowing extensions under exceptional circumstances are feasible and approved by the SBE, (see Recommendation 22), Education will modify existing processes to remain in compliance, which may require a substantial amount of additional resources.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 6/30/2018
  • Response Date: April 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending


Recommendation #24 To: Education, Department of

To ensure that all charter schools comply with state law and regulations related to the UCP, to the extent a charter school engages in programs that are subject to UCP, Education should by July 2017 include LEA-authorized charter schools as part of its selection of LEAs when conducting Federal Program Monitoring reviews.

1-Year Agency Response

Education included LEA-authorized charter schools in the selection of LEAs for conducting Federal Program Monitoring reviews in the 2017-18 school year.

  • Completion Date: October 2017
  • Response Date: February 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented


6-Month Agency Response

Education utilized updated site selection criteria and included LEA-authorized charter schools in the population of LEAs being reviewed in the 2017-18 school year UCP monitoring plan. Monitoring Reviews begin in September 2017.

  • Estimated Completion Date: October 31, 2017
  • Response Date: August 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Pending


60-Day Agency Response

Education updated site selection criteria to ensure that LEA-authorized charter schools are included in the population of LEAs being reviewed as part of the 2017-18 school year monitoring plan.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 10/31/2017
  • Response Date: April 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending


Recommendation #25 To: San Diego Unified School District

To ensure that all charter schools comply with state law and regulations related to the UCP, to the extent a charter school engages in programs that are subject to UCP, San Diego Unified should by June 2017 establish procedures to include a review of translation requirements during its monitoring of UCP policies, procedures, and complaint forms at its charter schools.

60-Day Agency Response

As a result of some conference calls and emails in November 2016, following up on the auditors' onsite August visit, the Charter School Office added an item to their annual site visit checklist to review Uniform Complaint procedures, policies and forms, including 'all translated versions of documents.' A copy of the site visit checklist has been provided, together with a declaration by the Manager of the Charter School Office. The revised site visit checklist will be provided to charter schools and used by the Charter School Office to conduct their charter school visits during school year 2017/18.

  • Completion Date: November 2016
  • Response Date: July 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #26 To: Los Angeles Unified School District

To ensure that all charter schools comply with state law and regulations related to the UCP, to the extent a charter school engages in programs that are subject to UCP, Los Angeles Unified should by June 2017 revise its review procedures to verify that all charter schools' policies and procedures meet the requirements of UCP regulations, including required content, during its monitoring reviews. Los Angeles Unified should implement these revised procedures for oversight beginning in the 2017-18 school year.

6-Month Agency Response

The LAUSD Charter School Division has revised its review procedures to verify that all charter schools' policies and procedures meet the requirements of UCP regulations, including required content, during its monitoring reviews. The LAUSD Charter Schools Division will implement the revised procedures during its oversight for the 2017-18 school year.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 2017-18 school year
  • Response Date: May 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Pending


60-Day Agency Response

Per the audit report, this will be completed by June 2017.

  • Estimated Completion Date: June 2017
  • Response Date: February 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending


Recommendation #27 To: Education, Department of

To ensure it examines sufficient review samples to detect LEAs' noncompliance with UCP laws and regulations, Education should revise its UCP monitoring criteria by July 2017 to increase its random selection of complaint files at each LEA to a minimum of 10 percent or 10 complaint files, whichever is greater.

1-Year Agency Response

In July 2017, Education implemented the revised UCP monitoring criteria to increase the random selection of complaint files at each LEA to a minimum of 10 percent or 10 complaint files, whichever is greater.

  • Completion Date: October 2017
  • Response Date: February 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented


6-Month Agency Response

Education's UCP monitoring criteria now includes a minimum of 10 percent or 10 files, whichever is greater, of a random selection review of each LEA's complaint files. This criteria has been included in the 2017-18 school year UCP monitoring plan and will be applied in the upcoming reviews scheduled in September 2017. Upon implementation, Education will assess whether additional resources will be required.

  • Estimated Completion Date: October 31, 2017
  • Response Date: August 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Pending


60-Day Agency Response

Education updated UCP monitoring criteria to include a minimum of 10 percent or 10 files, whichever is greater, of a random selection review of each LEAs complaint files; this criteria will be implemented in July 2017. Upon implementation, Education will assess whether additional resources will be required.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 7/31/2017
  • Response Date: April 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending


Recommendation #28 To: Education, Department of

Education should revise UCP regulations to formally establish uniform time limits for filing all types of complaints.

1-Year Agency Response

Education continues to assess the feasibility of the recommendation. Education is finalizing the report to the Legislature, required by the 2017-18 State Budget Act, and will submit it in February 2018. The report will include plans to engage stakeholders to review potential legislative and regulatory changes.

  • Estimated Completion Date: December 2018
  • Response Date: February 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: No Action Taken


6-Month Agency Response

Education continues to assess the feasibility of the action being requested in the recommendation and has no additional updates to provide at this time.

  • Estimated Completion Date: December 2018
  • Response Date: August 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: No Action Taken


60-Day Agency Response

Education continues to assess the feasibility of the action being requested in the recommendation, including possible changes to existing regulations, which will require the State Board of Education's approval. Education will initiate discussions with the Legislature in regard to establishing consistency in statute.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 12/31/2018
  • Response Date: April 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: No Action Taken


Recommendation #29 To: San Diego Unified School District

To ensure it complies with its UCP procedures, San Diego Unified should by March 2017 establish additional measures to verify it sends its final investigation reports in the languages in which the complainants submit their complaints.

60-Day Agency Response

Upon receipt of the report, we revised our Uniform Complaint processing list and flow chart to include a specific statement to review the original complaint and determine if the response needs to be provided in a language other than English, and, if so, send the response to our Translation Department to be translated into the appropriate language. In addition, we provided a declaration by the current Title IX/Uniform Complaint Compliance Officer in which she states that since she started in August 2016, she has received two complaints in a language other than English and both responses were translated before mailing.

  • Completion Date: February 2017
  • Response Date: April 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Fully Implemented


All Recommendations in 2016-109

Agency responses received are posted verbatim.