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Decision No. 12,658

  • Application of a CHILD WITH A HANDICAPPING CONDITION, by her parents, from action of the Board of Education of the Ellenville Central School District, relating to the conduct of impartial hearings.

  • Decision No. 12,658

(February 28, 1992)

Anderson, Banks, Curran and Donahue, Esqs., attorneys for respondent, James P. Drohan, Esq., of counsel

SOBOL, Commissioner.--Petitioners appeal from two hearing officers' actions and determinations relating to the conduct of impartial hearings for special education services provided to their child. Petitioners applied for an interim order staying one of the hearings, directing that the other hearing proceed expeditiously, and for other related relief. The application was denied on March 19, 1991. This appeal must now be dismissed.

Petitioners requested an impartial hearing to review the qualifications of a teacher assigned to provide special education services to their child. Some time subsequent to petitioners' request, respondent Board of Education of the Ellenville Central School District also requested an impartial hearing, to review petitioners' failure to consent to an evaluation of their child. Respondent moved to consolidate both hearings, but petitioners refused to consent. Accordingly, both hearings continued independently during the same time period, resulting in certain scheduling difficulties and related problems.

The Commissioner of Education will determine only matters which are in actual controversy and will not render a determination upon a matter which subsequent events have laid to rest (Appeal of Sileo, 28 Ed Dept Rep 313; Matter of Morris, 17 id. 95; Application of a Child with a Handicapping Condition, 30 id. 197; Appeal of Mitzner, 31 id. , Decision No. 12592, October 29, 1991).

The record before me shows that both hearings have been concluded: In one case, the impartial hearing officer's decision has been appealed to the State Review Officer and a decision has been issued. This renders academic petitioners' complaint in that matter. A decision was also issued in the second hearing relating to the board of education's request for an evaluation. Apparently, petitioners eventually consented to the evaluation. This, therefore, renders moot the issue in this appeal relating to the second hearing.

Since the basis of this appeal has been rendered, in one case academic, by the completion of the hearing and appeal process, and in the second case moot, by virtue of petitioners' consent to the evaluation, the appeal must be dismissed.