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Decision No. 13,058

Appeal of DONNA TEEL, on behalf of her sons ANDRE and ANREID, from action of the Board of Education of the City School District of the City of Mount Vernon regarding attendance.

Decision No. 13,058

(November 30, 1993)

D'Andrea & Goldstein, Esqs., attorney for respondent, Vincent P. D'Andrea, Esq., of counsel

SOBOL, Commissioner.--Petitioner challenges respondent's decision to transfer her sons from the district's Lincoln Elementary School (Lincoln) to the Edward Williams Elementary School (Williams). The appeal is dismissed.

Respondent maintains elementary schools in various locations throughout the district. Pursuant to district policy, students attend the school in the geographical area in which those students reside. On March 29, 1993 petitioner informed a school official that she had recently moved to a new location. Petitioner's new residence was outside the geographic area of the Lincoln School and within the area of the Williams School. Accordingly, the principal of the Lincoln School informed petitioner that her children would be transferred to the Williams School on April 12, 1993. On April 12, 1993, petitioner's sons did not attend school, and their records were forwarded to the Williams School. On April 13, 1993, when petitioner's sons appeared at the Lincoln School, they were transported to the Williams School. District officials contacted petitioner later that morning to inform her of the transfer.

Petitioner seems to contend that the transfer of her sons from the Lincoln School to the Williams School was improper and that her sons were harmed by the experience. However, Education Law '1709(33) authorizes a board of education to manage and administer the affairs of its school district, including the assignment of pupils to schools therein (Appeal of Cullen, 32 Ed Dept Rep 179; Matter of Older, et al. v. Board of Ed., 27 NY 2d 333). Moreover, in the assignment of pupils to schools, a board of education has broad discretion (Matter of Addabbo v. Donovan, 22 AD 2d 383, aff'd 16 NY 2d 619, cert. den 382 US 905). Accordingly, pupil assignments will be overturned only when there is a clear showing that the board acted arbitrarily, capriciously or contrary to sound educational policy (Appeal of Mulholland 32 Ed Dept Rep 384; Appeal of Goldup, 30 id. 477). Petitioner has made no such showing here.

A policy of assigning students to a particular school building because of geographic considerations is not, on its face, arbitrary, capricious or contrary to sound educational policy (Appeal of Cullen, supra). Moreover, there is nothing in the record, other than petitioner's unsupported allegations, to indicate that her sons' transfer was conducted in an improper manner by any district official or that her sons were harmed by the experience.

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