If you are interested in filing a complaint with the Board of Educational Examiners, you should first ensure that the person you are interested in filing against is a licensed practitioner. You may look up practitioner licenses by clicking the Search for a license link.
Next, please note that only certain individuals are allowed to file complaints under the laws and rules that govern the Board. These individuals include licensed practitioners employed by a school district, educational entity, or recognized local or state professional organization, as well as parents or guardians of students involved in the alleged complaint. Per Iowa Administrative Code, complaints to the Board must be signed. The Board cannot take action on anonymous complaints.
To warrant investigation by Board staff, complaints must relate to an alleged violation of one or more rules in the Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics, which can be found in Chapter 25 of the Board’s administrative rules. The complaint must be of a sufficient magnitude to warrant a hearing by the Board, and there must be sufficient, concrete evidence (not just suspicion or conjecture) to support the allegations. Unless there is good cause for a delay, the complaint must be filed within three years of the events in question.
Additionally, potential complainants should first make every effort to resolve issues at a local level. The Board complaint process involves many steps and in some cases it can take months to arrive at a final resolution. While the Board has the power to impose sanctions on a practitioner’s license (such as a public reprimand, suspension, or revocation), it does not have the power to order local school districts to take any particular action. Therefore, working with local administrators and/or school board members can sometimes address a potential complainant’s concerns more quickly and effectively.
If a complaint meets the basic requirements outlined above, it will be assigned to a Board investigator. The investigator will gather documents, conduct interviews as needed, and prepare a report for review by the Board. The Board will then determine whether there is probable cause to believe there has been a violation of the Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics. If probable cause exists, the case will be set for hearing before an administrative law judge. Following the hearing, the administrative law judge will draft a proposed decision. The Board will then review the proposed decision and make a final determination as to whether there has been an ethical violation and, if so, what sanction is appropriate.
If you have questions about the complaint process, or would like to file a complaint, please contact Darcy Hathaway, Attorney/Investigator, at 515-242-6506 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also contact Kim Cunningham, Board Secretary, at 515-281-5849 or email@example.com.