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Decision No. 13,149

Appeal of SHARON A. PETERS from action of the Board of Education of the City School District of the City of Troy relating to transportation.

Decision No. 13,149

(April 8, 1994)

Ruberti, Girvin & Ferlazzo, P.C., attorneys for respondent, James A. P. McCarthy, Esq., of counsel

SOBOL, Commissioner.--Petitioner challenges the decision by her employer, the National School Bus Service, Inc. ("National"), to provide transportation services to the Board of Education of the City School District of the City of Troy ("respondent") from a single bus terminal rather than two terminals. The appeal must be dismissed.

Neither petitioner nor respondent has provided a clear description of the facts giving rise to this dispute. However, it appears that respondent has a contract with National for the transportation of students between home and school. National previously provided such transportation services through two bus terminals, one in North Troy and one in South Troy. Respondent contends that communication problems between the two terminals affected National's ability to provide effectively the transportation services. In addition, respondent contends that National's maintenance of two terminals resulted in unnecessary additional costs.

In May 1992, respondent's transportation supervisor expressed its concerns to National and requested that all buses providing services to its students operate from National's South Troy terminal. National implemented that request at the start of the 1992-93 school year.

Petitioner is a National employee who operates one of the buses that provides services for respondent's students. Until National agreed to house all buses supplying transportation for Troy students at its South Troy terminal, petitioner worked out of National's North Troy terminal. In this appeal, she contends that the decision to provide transportation from only the South Troy terminal is arbitrary and capricious, will endanger the safety of students, increase costs to respondent and is not authorized by the contract between National and respondent. She also alleges that the use of only one terminal will in some unspecified manner affect her ability under the contract between National and her union to bid on bus runs for respondent. Petitioner offers no proof to support any of her allegations.

While petitioner has instituted this appeal against the Board of Education of the City School District of the City of Troy, she is actually contesting the decision of her employer, National, to provide transportation for respondent from only one terminal. Pursuant to Education Law '310, the Commissioner of Education is authorized to determine appeals 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.

Based upon a plain reading of '310, the Commissioner of Education lacks jurisdiction to review disputes, such as the instant matter, between private employees and their employers. The fact that the employer provides services to a board of education does not, by itself, confer jurisdiction upon the Commissioner to determine a dispute between that private employer and one of its employees.