If you are or were a student or an employee of a Licensed Private School in the State of New York and believe that the school, or anyone representing the school, has acted unlawfully, you have a right to file a complaint with the New York State Education Dept., Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision, 116 W. 32nd St., New York, NY 10001.
You may complain about the conduct of the school; advertising standards and methods of instructions; equipment; facilities; qualifications of teachers and management personnel; enrollment agreement; methods of collecting tuition and other charges; school license or registration; school and student records; and private school agents.
THE STEPS YOU MUST TAKE TO FILE A COMPLAINT
1. Write the New York State Education Department, Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision, 116 West 32nd Street, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10001, or phone the Department at (212) 643-4760. Request an interview for the purpose of filing a written complaint. Bring copies of all of the relevant documents with you to the interview, including your enrollment agreement, transcripts, etc. An investigator from the State will meet with you and go through your complaint in detail. Always keep your original papers.
2. If you can’t go to an interview send a letter or call the office to request a complaint form. You must complete and sign this form and mail it to the office. Include with it copies of all relevant documents. You should keep originals. FILE YOUR COMPLAINT WITHIN 2 YEARS AFTER THE ALLEGED ILLEGAL CONDUCT TOOK PLACE. The Bureau cannot investigate complaints more than 2 years after the date of the occurrence.
3. The investigator will attempt to resolve the complaint as quickly as possible and may contact you in the future with one or more follow-up questions. You should provide all information requested as quickly as possible. Delay may affect the investigation of your complaint. When appropriate, investigators may try to negotiate informally with the school. If the Department determines violations of education law were committed and the school fails to take satisfactory action the State may precede with formal disciplinary charges.
4. In addition to filing a complaint with the Department, you may also try to resolve your complaint directly with the school. Use the school’s internal grievance procedure or discuss your problem with the teachers, department heads, or school director. We suggest that you do so in writing and keep copies of all of your correspondence with the school. However, the school cannot require you to do this before you file a complaint with the New York State Education Department, (BPSS). If you do file a complaint with the department, please advise the State of any action you already took attempting to resolve your complaint.
5. It is against the law to make a complaint that you know to be false. If you make a complaint against an ABI employee knowing that it is false, a referral to appropriate law enforcement will be made. Furthermore anyone filing a false report may be held liable in a civil lawsuit if it is determined that the complaint is false or malicious against any ABI employee.