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Decision No. 16,485

Appeal of T.S, on behalf of her daughter N.N., from action of the New York City Department of Education regarding transportation.

Decision No. 16,485

(June 24, 2013)

 

Courtenaye Jackson-Chase, General Counsel, attorney for respondent, Mary McKenna Rodriquez, Esq., of counsel

KING, JR., Commissioner.--Petitioner appeals a determination of the New York City Department of Education (“respondent”) denying her daughter, N.N., certain transportation services for the 2012-2013 school year. The appeal must be dismissed.

N.N. attends P.S. 11 in the Bronx. Petitioner filed a shelter variance seeking school bus transportation (“yellow bus service”) from their temporary housing site in the Bronx (“Bronx site”) to P.S. 11 (“school”), which respondent denied.  [1] This appeal ensued. Petitioner’s request for interim relief was denied on January 24, 2013.

Respondent maintains that the distance between the Bronx site and the school is more than seven miles. Respondent further maintains that, except for limited circumstances not applicable here, general education bus routes are limited to five miles in total distance. Respondent asserts that, consequently, no yellow bus service, or bus route of any kind, was available to transport N.N. between the Bronx site and the school. Instead, respondent maintains that it provided N.N. a full-fare MetroCard for access to free public bus service and that petitioner also was provided a MetroCard to escort N.N. to school.

On or about February 11, 2013, respondent submitted an affidavit by its coordinator of the Students in Temporary Housing Program (“program coordinator”) stating that petitioner and N.N. had transferred from the Bronx site to a shelter closer to the school (“second site”). The program coordinator further stated that the transfer obviated the need for the “requested transportation accommodation” (yellow bus service) and that petitioner had made an additional request for a transportation accommodation which was then under review by respondent’s Office of Pupil Transportation.

By letter dated March 26, 2013, my Office of Counsel directed respondent to submit additional information, pursuant to §276.5 of the Commissioner’s regulations, concerning the status of petitioner’s transportation request. Respondent submitted an additional affidavit by its program coordinator stating that N.N. was provided yellow bus service from the second site, but that petitioner subsequently vacated that site. She further states that petitioner re-applied for temporary housing but refused to request yellow bus service. The program coordinator submits a note dated March 18, 2013, addressed to “department of education”, in which petitioner states “I am refusing busing for my child [N.N.] .... I am able to transport her.” The program coordinator maintains that petitioner and N.N. will continue to be provided MetroCards.

The appeal must be dismissed as moot. The Commissioner will only decide matters in actual controversy and will not render a decision on a state of facts which no longer exist or which subsequent events have laid to rest (Appeal of a Student with a Disability, 48 Ed Dept Rep 532, Decision No. 15,940; Appeal of M.M., 48 id. 527, Decision No. 15,937; Appeal of Embro, 48 id. 204, Decision No. 15,836). Because petitioner’s location has changed since the decision here under review was rendered and also because she is no longer requesting yellow bus service, the appeal is moot.

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

THE APPEAL IS DISMISSED.

END OF FILE.

 

 

[1]  It is undisputed that N.N. is a homeless youth within the meaning of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Improvements Act (42 USC §11431 et seq.).