Selected Sections of the Education Law Appeals or Petitions to the Commissioner of Education
Article 7 of the Education Law provides in part as follows:
§ 310. Appeals or petitions to commissioner of education and other proceedings. Any party conceiving himself aggrieved may appeal by petition to the commissioner of education who is hereby authorized and required to examine and decide the same; and the commissioner of education may also institute such proceedings as are authorized under this article. The petition may be made in consequence of any action:
1. By any school district meeting.
2. By any district superintendent and other officers, in forming or altering, or refusing to form or alter, any school district, or in refusing to apportion any school moneys to any such district or part of a district.
3. By a county treasurer or other distributing agent in refusing to pay any such moneys to any such district.
4. By the trustees of any district in paying or refusing to pay any teacher, or in refusing to admit any scholar gratuitously into any school or on any other matter upon which they may or do officially act.
5. By any trustees of any school library concerning such library, or the books therein, or the use of such books.
6. By any district meeting in relation to the library or any other matter pertaining to the affairs of the district.
6-a. By a principal, teacher, owner or other person in charge of any school in denying a child admission to, or continued attendance at, such school for lack of proof of required immunizations in accordance with section twenty-one hundred sixty-four of the public health law.
7. By any other official act or decision of any officer, school authorities, or meetings concerning any other matter under this chapter, or any other act pertaining to common schools.
§ 311. Powers of commissioner upon appeals or petitions, et cetera. The commissioner, in reference to such appeals, petitions or proceedings, shall have power:
1. To regulate the practice therein.
2. To determine whether an appeal shall stay proceedings, and prescribe conditions upon which it shall or shall not so operate.
3. To decline to entertain or to dismiss an appeal, when it shall appear that the appellant has no interest in the matter appealed from, and that the matter is not a matter of public concern, and that the person injuriously affected by the act or decision appealed from is incompetent to appeal.
4. To make all orders, by directing the levying of taxes or otherwise, which may, in his judgment, be proper or necessary to give effect to his decision.
§ 312. Filed papers and copies thereof. The commissioner shall file, arrange in the order of time, and keep in his office, so that they may be at all times accessible, all the proceedings on every appeal or petition to him under this article, including his decision and orders founded thereon; and copies of all such papers and proceedings, authenticated by him under his seal of office, shall be evidence equally with the originals.
Appeals in Special Cases
Reviewability of acts of district superintendents:
§ 2217. Appeals from acts of district superintendent. Appeals from the official acts of a district superintendent of schools or from his refusal or failure to act in any matter in which he may legally act, may be taken to the commissioner of education. All questions in controversy relating to the election of such district superintendent shall be determined by the commissioner of education on proper appeal. The provisions of article seven of this chapter shall apply to and govern such appeals and decisions therein.
Determination of disputes involving meetings or elections:
§ 2037. Determination of meeting or election disputes. All disputes concerning the validity of any district meeting or election or of any of the acts of the officers of such meeting or election shall be referred to the commissioner of education for determination and his decisions in the matter shall be final and not subject to review. The commissioner may in his discretion order a new meeting or election.
Determination of what constitutes ordinary contingent expenses:
§ 2024. Reference to Commissioner of Education. If any question shall arise as to what are ordinary contingent expenses the same may be referred to the commissioner of education, by a statement in writing, signed by one or more of each of the opposing parties upon the question, and the decision of the commissioner shall be conclusive.
§ 2853(3)(a-5).New York City charter school location/co-location and building usage plans. Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary, in a city school district in a city having a population of one million or more inhabitants, the determination to locate or co-locate a charter school within a public school building and the implementation of and compliance with the building usage plan developed pursuant to paragraph (a-three) of this subdivision that has been approved by the board of education of such city school district pursuant to paragraph (h) of subdivision one of section twenty-five hundred ninety-g of this title and after satisfying the requirements of subdivision two-a of section twenty-five hundred ninety-h of this title may be appealed to the commissioner pursuant to section three hundred ten of this chapter. Provided further, the revision of a building usage plan approved by the board of education consistent with the requirements pursuant to subdivision seven of section twenty-five hundred ninety-g of this title may also be appealed to the commissioner on the grounds that such revision fails to meet the standards set forth in clause (B) of subparagraph two of paragraph (a-3) of this subdivision. Following a petition for such appeal pursuant to this paragraph, such city school district shall have ten days to respond. The petition must be dismissed, adjudicated or disposed of by the commissioner within ten days of the receipt of the city school district's response.
§§2853(3)(e)(2) and (3). New York City charter school access to facilities. 2. No later than thirty days after approval by the board of education or expiration of the offer period prescribed in subparagraph one of this paragraph, the charter school shall either accept the city school district’s offer or appeal in accordance with subparagraph three of this paragraph. If no appeal is taken, the city’s offer or refusal to make an offer shall be final and non-reviewable. The charter school may appeal as early as issuance of an educational impact statement for the proposed co-location.
3. The charter school shall have the option of appealing the city school district’s offer or failure to offer a co-location site through binding arbitration in accordance with subparagraph seven of this paragraph, an expedited appeal to the commissioner pursuant to section three hundred ten of this chapter and the procedures prescribed in paragraph (a-5) of this subdivision, or a special proceeding pursuant to article seventy-eight of the civil practice law and rules. In any such appeal, the standard of review shall be the standard prescribed in section seventy-eight hundred three of the civil practice law and rules.
As an aid in the enforcement of the law and the decisions of the Commissioner of Education, section 306 of the Education Law provides as follows:
§ 306. Removal of school officers; withholding public money. 1. Whenever it shall be proved to his satisfaction that any trustee, member of a board of education, clerk, collector, treasurer, district superintendent, superintendent of schools or other school officer is a member of an organization listed as subversive by the board of regents pursuant to the provisions of section three thousand twenty-two of this chapter, or has been guilty of any wilful violation or neglect of duty under this chapter, or any other act pertaining to common schools or other educational institution participating in state funds, or willfully disobeying any decision, order, rule or regulation of the regents or of the commissioner of education, said commissioner, after a hearing at which the school officer shall have the right of representation by counsel, may, by an order under his hand and seal, which order shall be recorded in his office, remove such school officer from his office.
2. Said commissioner of education may also withhold from any district or city its share of the public money of the state for willfully disobeying any provision of law or any decision, order or regulation as aforesaid.