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Decision No. 12,978

Appeal of JAGDEO AND TULSIDAI RAMDAYAL, on behalf of their children, VIMLA, DAVID AND LORNA, from action of the Board of Education of the Sewanhaka Central High School District regarding attendance zones.

Decision No. 12,978

(August 2, 1993)

Frederick K. Brewington, Esq., attorney for petitioners

Douglas E. Libby, Esq., attorney for respondent

SOBOL, Commissioner.--Petitioners appeal from respondent's determination that their children must attend the Elmont Memorial High School. The appeal must be dismissed.

Petitioners moved into the Sewanhaka Central High School District ("the district") in the summer of 1989. At that time, the Director of Pupil Personnel Services, Mr. Giancola, toured the Floral Park and Elmont Memorial High Schools with petitioners and informed them that since they were in a special optional attendance zone, they could choose between the two schools. Petitioners chose Floral Park, where their three children have attended school since September 1989. In February 1990, respondent notified petitioners that since they lived in the area zoned for attendance at Elmont Memorial High School, the district had made an error in offering them the special optional attendance program. Accordingly, respondent advised petitioners that their children would have to transfer to the Elmont School. This appeal ensued.

Petitioners allege that the proposed transfer was discriminatory on the basis of race and national origin. They seek an order allowing their children to continue attendance at Floral Park Memorial High School through graduation.

Respondent contends that it did not treat petitioners improperly but simply sought to correct an inadvertent mistake which directed petitioners to a school they were not entitled to attend.

By letter dated September 24, 1992, the school district attorney represented to my Office of Counsel that his clients had authorized the continued attendance of petitioners' children at Floral Park High School, as long as they remained residents in either the Elmont or Floral Park Memorial High School zones. Since respondent has agreed to offer petitioners the very relief they seek here, this appeal is academic. The Commissioner only decides matters in actual controversy and will not render a decision on a state of facts which no longer exists, or which subsequent events have laid to rest (Appeal of Warner, 32 Ed Dept Rep 533; Appeal of Langenmayr, 30 id. 322; Appeal of Vachon, 28 id. 276). Therefore, the appeal is moot.

I have reviewed petitioners' other contentions and find them without merit.