Decision No. 17,890
Appeal of Y.W., on behalf of her brother R.W., from action of the Board of Education of the Sewanhaka Central High School District regarding residency.
Decision No. 17,890
(July 30, 2020)
Bernadette Gallagher-Gaffney, Esq., attorney for respondent
TAHOE., Interim Commissioner.--Petitioner appeals the determination of the Board of Education of the Sewanhaka Central High School District (“respondent”) that her brother (“the student”) is not a district resident. The appeal must be dismissed.
Given the disposition of this appeal, a detailed recitation of the facts is unnecessary. Briefly, respondent admitted the student to its schools based upon application materials petitioner submitted in September 2019.
By letter dated October 2, 2019, respondent’s administrative assistant to the superintendent (“administrative assistant”) notified petitioner that the student would be excluded from respondent’s schools as a non-resident effective October 18, 2019 because his mother resided outside the district and there was no bona fide relinquishment of care, custody and control of the student from the mother to petitioner.
By letter dated October 6, 2019, petitioner requested review of the administrative assistant’s determination. Respondent convened a formal residency hearing on October 18, 2019, presided over by an administrative review officer (“review officer”). By letter dated November 15, 2019, the review officer informed petitioner of her determination that the student was not entitled to attend respondent’s schools because his mother resided outside of New York State and had not executed a bona fide transfer of care, custody and control of the student to petitioner. The review officer further notified petitioner that the student would be excluded from respondent’s schools effective December 3, 2019. This appeal ensued. Petitioner’s request for interim relief was denied on December 12, 2019.
Petitioner maintains that she is the student’s guardian. Specifically, petitioner contends that the student resides with her in respondent’s district, that she provides food, shelter, clothing, and financial support to him, and that she “exercises control over [the student’s] activities and behavior.” Petitioner concedes, however, that the student’s mother “has not surrendered parental control” of the student to her. Petitioner seeks a determination that the student is a district resident entitled to attend its schools tuition-free.
Respondent maintains that its determination is rational, supported by the record, and, therefore, not arbitrary, capricious or unreasonable.
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 Sutton, 57 Ed Dept Rep, Decision No. 17,331; Appeal of a Student with a Disability, 48 id. 532, Decision No. 15,940; Appeal of M.M., 48 id. 527, Decision No. 15,937). Following submission of the pleadings in this appeal, my Office of Counsel requested information from the parties regarding the enrollment status of the student pursuant to section 276.5 of the Commissioner’s regulations. By affirmation dated June 8, 2020, counsel for respondent indicates that, based on a new enrollment application submitted by the student’s mother on or about January 31, 2020, the student has been admitted to respondent’s schools as a district resident. Therefore, petitioner has received all of the relief that she requested, and the appeal must be dismissed as moot (see Appeal of X.W., 59 Ed Dept Rep, Decision No. 17,760; Appeal of M.L. and A.L., 57 id., Decision No. 17,365)
THE APPEAL IS DISMISSED
END OF FILE