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Decision No. 13,343

Appeal of BARBARA DE CICCO-LONGSTREET, on behalf of her daughter, TRACY ANN GARRABRANTS, from action of the Board of Education of the Carle Place Union Free School District regarding school admission.

Decision No. 13,343

(January 24, 1995)

Kraemer & Mulligan, Esqs., attorneys for respondent, Robert F. Mulligan, Esq., of counsel

SOBOL, Commissioner.--Petitioner appeals respondent's determination that her daughter, Tracy Ann, is not a resident of the Carle Place Union Free School District. The appeal must be dismissed.

Petitioner and Tracy Ann resided in the Carle Place district from September 1984 until an unspecified date in 1992. At that time, petitioner and Tracy Ann moved to a nearby district, but Tracy Ann continued to attend respondent's schools. On or about April 19, 1993, respondent admitted Tracy Ann to its schools as a nonresident, tuition-paying student. Tuition was paid for the months of May, June, August, September, October and November 1993. No payments of tuition were made after November 1993.

During the spring of 1994, petitioner asked respondent to allow Tracy Ann to continue to attend school in the district without additional tuition payments even though she was a nonresident, in consideration of her longtime attendance in the district's schools. Respondent reviewed petitioner's request and afforded her an opportunity to present information on the issue. In a letter dated June 28, 1994, respondent rejected petitioner's request and notified her that Tracy Ann would be excluded from its schools effective July 6, 1994. Petitioner commenced this appeal on July 5, 1994. She concedes that she and Tracy Ann are not residents of respondent's district, but contends that Tracy Ann should be allowed to continue to attend school in the district because she wants to graduate with her former classmates. Petitioner's request for interim relief was denied on September 13, 1994.

Education Law '3202(1) provides in part:

A person over five and under twenty-one years of age who has not received a high school diploma is entitled to attend the public schools maintained in the district in which such person resides without the payment of tuition. (Emphasis supplied)

The purpose of this statute is to limit the obligation of school districts to provide tuition-free education to those students whose parents or legal guardians reside within the district (Appeal of Curtin, 27 Ed Dept Rep 446). As noted above, petitioner acknowledges that neither she nor Tracy Ann are district residents. Accordingly, Tracy Ann is not entitled to attend respondent's schools on a tuition-free basis. While I appreciate petitioner's desire that Tracy Ann be allowed to graduate with her friends, there is no legal basis to require respondent to grant petitioner's request.

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