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Decision No. 13,345

Appeal of SANDRA BEHAN, on behalf of ASHLEY, DENNIS and KATHERINE, from action of the Board of Education of the East Irondequoit Central School District regarding transportation.

Decision No. 13,345

(January 25, 1995)

Ferrara, Fiorenza, Larrison, Barrett & Reitz, P.C., attorneys for respondent, Dennis T.

Barrett and Michael L. Dodd, Esqs., of counsel

SOBOL, Commissioner.--Petitioner appeals respondent's refusal to change the transportation pick-up point for her children. The appeal must be dismissed.

Petitioner resides on Hoffman Road in the East Irondequoit Central School District. Her children attend parochial school within the district and are provided transportation by the district. On September 7, 1994, petitioner requested that respondent change the pick-up point for her children. Respondent refused the request and petitioner commenced this appeal.

A board of education may exercise its discretion in designating pick-up points, provided that the board uses care in exercising that discretion (Appeal of Guido, 33 Ed Dept Rep 244; Appeal of Mechanick, 33 id. 692; Appeal of Klein, 27 id. 76). When establishing a pick-up point, a board of education must consider and balance questions of pupil safety, convenience, routing efficiency and costs (Appeal of Mechanick, supra; Appeal of Donk, et al., 27 Ed Dept Rep 254).

The pick-up points for petitioner's children are located under one mile from her home. However, petitioner contends that those pick-up points have been unfairly situated farther from her home than pick-up points provided to neighboring children who attend public schools. Petitioner further maintains that the pick-up points for her children are unsafe because the children must travel on a road which has no sidewalk or walkways and is not wide enough for two vehicles and a pedestrian to travel at the same time.

Although petitioner contends that respondent is treating her children inequitably in comparison to other children attending school in the district, her claim is unsupported. Respondent has demonstrated that other students in the district are required to walk longer distances to pick-up points. Moreover, Education Law '3635 does not require door-to-door transportation and boards of education have discretion in establishing pick-up points (Appeal of Mechanick, supra; Appeal of Jansen, 29 Ed Dept Rep 402).

While petitioner's concern for the safety of her children is understandable, her contention that the location of the pick-up point necessitates travel through unsafe conditions is inadequately supported. Many pick-up points in rural and suburban areas require children to travel on narrow roadways which may have no sidewalk or walkway. Such characteristics, common in rural and suburban areas, are not in and of themselves a basis for deeming the current pick-up point unsafe (Appeal of Jett, 33 Ed Dept Rep 446; Appeal of Mechanick, supra). In view of the absence of any persuasive evidence that the present pick-up point is unsafe, petitioner has failed to demonstrate that respondent acted arbitrarily or capriciously when it refused to change the pick-up point for her children.

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