(a) If the Decision is appealed, the CDE shall notify the LEA of the appeal. Upon notification by the CDE that the Decision has been appealed, the LEA shall forward the following to the CDE:
(1) A copy of the original complaint;
(2) A copy of the Decision;
(3) A summary of the nature and extent of the investigation conducted by the LEA, if not covered in the Decision;
(4) A copy of the investigation file, including but not limited to, all notes, interviews and documents submitted by the parties or gathered by the investigator;
(5) A report of any action taken to resolve the complaint;
(6) A copy of the LEA complaint procedures; and
(7) Such other relevant information as the CDE may request.
(b) The CDE shall not receive evidence from the parties that could have been presented to the LEA investigator during the investigation, unless requested by the CDE. Any confidential information or pupil information in the investigative file shall remain confidential and shall not be disclosed by the CDE.
(c) The CDE may contact the parties for further information, if necessary.
(d) The CDE shall review the investigation file, the summary of the nature and extent of the investigation conducted by the LEA, the complaint procedures, documents and any other evidence received from the LEA and determine whether substantial evidence exists:
(1) That the LEA followed its complaint procedures; and
(2) That the relevant findings of fact in the Decision which are the subject of the appeal are supported by the evidence.
(e) The CDE shall review the conclusions of law which are the subject of the appeal and determine whether they are correct.
(f) If the CDE determines that the Decision is deficient because it lacks findings of fact and conclusions of law regarding the subject of the appeal, the CDE may return the Decision to the LEA in order to correct the deficiencies within 20 days of the return.
(g) If the CDE finds that the Decision is supported by substantial evidence, and that the legal conclusions are not contrary to law, the appeal shall be denied.
(h) If the CDE finds the grounds for the appeal have merit:
(1) The CDE may, if there is a lack of substantial evidence or a procedural defect in the investigation, remand the investigation to the LEA for further investigation of the allegations which are the subject of the appeal; or
(2) The CDE may issue a decision based on the evidence in the investigation file received from the LEA; or
(3) If the CDE determines that it is in the best interest of the parties, conduct a further investigation of the allegations which are the basis for the appeal and issue a decision following further investigation.
(i) If the CDE finds merit in the appeal, the CDE's decision on appeal shall contain the following:
(1) A finding that the LEA complied or did not comply with its complaint procedures;
(2) The CDE's findings of fact and conclusions of law regarding the issue on appeal; and
(3) Where a determination is made that the LEA failed to comply with the applicable state or federal law or regulation, remedial orders and/or required actions to address the violation(s), including, with respect to a pupil fee complaint, a remedy that specifies the LEA's obligation to comply with Education Code section 49013(d) and section 4600(u).
(j) The CDE must issue a written decision regarding an appeal of a pupil fee complaint and provide a copy of the written decision to the appellant within 60 days of the CDE's receipt of the appeal.
Education Code 221.1
Education Code 33031
Government Code 11138
Education Code 200
Education Code 220
Education Code 49013
Government Code 11135
Government Code 11136
Government Code 11138
34 C.F.R. 106.8
34 C.F.R. 299.10(a)(2)
(Amended by Register 2013, No. 38.)