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Decision No. 15,613

Appeal of JAMES D. DELLO from action of the Board of Education of the Wellsville Central School District regarding student attendance.

Decision No. 15,613

(July 17, 2007)

Ferrara, Fiorenza, Larrison, Barrett & Reitz, P.C., attorneys for respondent, Donald E. Budmen and Norman H. Gross, Esqs., of counsel

AHEARN, Acting Commissioner.--Petitioner appeals the actions of the Board of Education of the Wellsville Central School District (“respondent”) regarding student attendance during Regents examinations.  The appeal must be dismissed.

In January 2007, on the days Regents examinations were administered, respondent excused students in grades 9-12 who were not taking a Regents examination, a Regents Competency Test or a local assessment.  This appeal ensued. Petitioner’s request for interim relief was denied on January 19, 2007.

Petitioner contends that the excusal violates §175.2 of the Commissioner’s regulations and guidance related thereto.     

Respondent contends that the district’s actions were lawful.  Respondent further argues that petitioner is not a parent or guardian of a student who has been affected by its decision.  Accordingly, respondent maintains that petitioner lacks standing to maintain this appeal.

An individual may not maintain an appeal pursuant to Education Law §310 unless aggrieved in the sense that he or she has suffered personal damage or injury to his or her civil, personal or property rights (Appeal of Samuel, 45 Ed Dept Rep 418, Decision No. 15,371; Appeal of Sweeney, 44 id. 176, Decision No. 15,139; Appeals of Giardina and Carbone, 43 id. 395, Decision No. 15,030).  Only persons who are directly affected by the action being appealed have standing to bring an appeal (Appeal of Polmanteer, et al., 44 Ed Dept Rep 221, Decision No. 15,155; Appeal of Murphy, et al., 39 id. 562, Decision No. 14,311). District residents have standing to challenge an allegedly illegal expenditure of district funds (Appeal of Samuel, 45 Ed Dept Rep 418, Decision No. 15,371; Appeal of Sweeney, 44 id. 176, Decision No. 15,139; Appeal of Allard, 43 id. 167, Decision No. 14,957). 

The harm alleged by petitioner is limited to allegations that parents were not adequately informed regarding what tests their children were taking and that students were not receiving adequate instruction time.  Since no child of petitioner’s was affected, he lacks standing to maintain these claims.  Moreover, petitioner has failed to allege any fiscal harm to substantiate his claim of taxpayer standing.  Accordingly, the appeal must be dismissed for lack of standing.

In light of this disposition, I need not address the parties’ remaining contentions or submissions.

THE APPEAL IS DISMISSED.    

END OF FILE