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Decision No. 13,627

Appeal of the UNITED CEREBRAL PALSY AND HANDICAPPED PERSONS ASSOCIATION OF THE UTICA AREA, INC., from action of the Board of Education of the Chittenango Central School District refusing the payment of tuition.

Appeal of the UNITED CEREBRAL PALSY AND HANDICAPPED PERSONS ASSOCIATION OF THE UTICA AREA, INC., from action of the Board of Education of the Liverpool Central School District refusing the payment of tuition.

Decision No. 13,627

(June 17, 1996)

Glenn M. Rickles, Esq., attorney for petitioner in both appeals

O'Hara & O'Connell, P.C., attorneys for respondents in both appeals, Dennis G. O'Hara, Esq., of counsel

MILLS, Commissioner.--Petitioner, the United Cerebral Palsy and Handicapped Persons Association of the Utica Area, Inc., appeals refusals by the Boards of Education of the Chittenango Central School District and the Liverpool Central School District to pay tuition for the 1994-1995 school year for a student who is a resident in an intermediate care facility operated by petitioner. Petitioner brings separate appeals seeking reimbursement, which are hereby consolidated for decision because the factual allegations deal with a single student. The appeals must be dismissed.

Petitioner alleges that the student in question has lived in its intermediate care facility in Utica since September 1993, and has received educational services at that facility since that time. Petitioner further alleges that the student's mother was a resident of the Liverpool Central School District from July 1994 to August 1995, and that she also was a resident of the Chittenango Central School District from November 1994 to January 1995.

Petitioner claims that on or about October 19, 1994, it attempted to register the student with the Liverpool district, but that on or about December 6, 1994, the Liverpool district refused to admit the student as a resident of the district and further refused to pay any tuition to cover the cost of his education. Similarly, petitioner claims that it attempted to register the student with the Chittenango district on or about April 25, 1995, but its application was rejected on April 27, 1995, and the district refused to pay any tuition for the educational services which petitioner provided for him. Apparently, based upon the presumption that the student's legal residence was that of his mother during the relevant time periods, petitioner claims reimbursement for tuition from both respondent districts for the 1994-1995 school year.

Respondents generally deny any liability to petitioner, and both districts point out that there is no allegation that the student's mother resided in either district at the time the student began residing at petitioner's intermediate care facility in September 1993 (see Education Law '3202). Respondents challenge petitioner's standing to bring this appeal, and further object that the appeals, both commenced November 13, 1995, are untimely.

The appeals must be dismissed. Pursuant to 8 NYCRR 275.16, an appeal to the Commissioner must be commenced within 30 days from the making of the decision or the performance of the act complained of. In this case, it appears that the Liverpool district denied petitioner's claims on December 6, 1994 and that the Chittenango district denied its claims on April 27, 1995. The petition contains no explanation or excuse for petitioner's failure to bring these appeals until November 13, 1995. The appeals are clearly untimely.

Even giving petitioner the benefit of the rule that tuition becomes due at the end of the school year in question (Matter of Bd. of Ed., Putnam Valley CSD, 15 Ed Dept Rep 517; Matter of Bd. of Ed., Greenville CSD, 16 id. 329; Matter of Bd. of Ed., Yorktown CSD, 17 id. 2; Matter of Bd. of Ed., Yorktown CSD, 17 id. 5; Matter of Bd. of Ed., Yorktown CSD, 17 id. 136; Matter of Bd. of Ed., Greene CSD, 19 id. 173; Matter of Bd. of Ed., Cobleskill CSD, 21 id. 648; Matter of Bd. of Ed., Iroquois CSD, 23 id. 68), the appeals are untimely and must be dismissed.

In view of this disposition, I will not consider or discuss the other claims and allegations of the parties.

THE APPEALS ARE DISMISSED.

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