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Decision No. 16,146

Appeal of ALAN MAISEL, on behalf of the Music Educators Association of New York City and the students of the New York City School system, from action of Joel I. Klein, Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education regarding music education.

Decision No. 16,146

(August 30, 2010)

Michael A. Cardozo, Corporation Counsel, attorney for respondent, Janice Casey Silverberg, Esq., of counsel

STEINER, Commissioner.--Petitioner, a member of the New York State Assembly, appeals from the alleged failure of Joel I. Klein, Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education (“respondent”), to establish staffing sufficient to ensure compliance with the program and diploma requirements set forth in §§100.4 and 100.5 of the Commissioner’s regulations regarding music education.  The appeal must be dismissed.

Petitioner alleges that a substantial percentage of New York City schools do not have a music teacher and that a reduction in the percentage of music teachers has taken place since the 2004-2005 school year.  Petitioner also alleges that the lack of music and arts offerings in many New York City schools make the validity of Regents diplomas or alternative assessments questionable.  Petitioner requests that I direct respondent to implement a corrective action plan, with oversight by the State Education Department or any agency of city government outside of the mayor’s office or the Department of Education.  Respondent alleges that petitioner fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted and that he lacks standing.  Respondent also alleges that the appeal is untimely and that the petition does not comply with §275.5 of the Commissioner’s regulations.

I find that petitioner lacks standing to challenge the alleged inadequacy of the New York City Department of Education’s music program.  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 Jefferson, 46 Ed Dept Rep 487, Decision No. 15,572; Appeal of Himmelberg and Little, 46 id. 228, Decision No. 15,490; Appeal of Riccinto, 46 id. 39, Decision No. 15,435).  Only persons who are directly affected by the action being appealed have standing to bring an appeal (Appeal of Jefferson, 46 Ed Dept Rep 487, Decision No. 15,572; Appeal of L.A., et al., 46 id. 450, Decision No. 15,561).  Petitioner does not allege that respondent’s actions have caused specific injury or damage to his own rights.  Petitioner does not purport to be a parent, legal guardian, or custodian of a student allegedly affected by the alleged inadequacies, nor does he purport to be a member or official of the Music Educators Association of New York City.  Additionally, petitioner’s status as Member of the Assembly does not, in and of itself, confer standing to challenge the alleged inadequacies of the New York City Department of Education’s music program on behalf of his constituents (seeSilver v. Pataki, 96 NY2d 532, 539; Urban Justice Center, et al. v. Pataki, et al., 10 Misc. 3d 939, affd 38 AD3d 20; Matter of Montgomery v. Metropolitan Transportation Authority, 25 Misc. 3d 1241[A]).

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

THE APPEAL IS DISMISSED.

END OF FILE.