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Decision No. 13,395

Appeal of a STUDENT WITH A DISABILITY, by his parent, from action of the Board of Education of the Canastota Central School District regarding an impartial hearing.

Decision No. 13,395

(April 6, 1995)

Hogan & Sarzynski, Esqs., attorneys for respondent, Edward J. Sarzynski, Esq., of counsel

SOBOL, Commissioner.--Petitioner appeals respondent's alleged failure to provide him with a timely decision in an impartial hearing. The appeal must be dismissed.

Petitioner is the parent of a student with a disability who resides in the Canastota Central School District. On October 24, 1994, respondent received petitioner's request for an impartial hearing. In an October 28, 1994 letter, respondent informed petitioner that a hearing officer had been selected and that a hearing was scheduled for December 1, 1994. Approximately three weeks later, petitioner informed respondent that December 1, 1994 was not a convenient hearing date. In response, respondent rescheduled the hearing for December 6, 1994, with December 8, 1994 set aside for continuation of the hearing if necessary. In a letter dated October 31, 1994, petitioner did not object to those dates and stated that he expected a decision to be mailed to him by December 8, 1994 which he calculated to be 45 days from the date of his initial hearing request.

The hearing began on December 6, 1994 and respondent completed the presentation of its case on that date. The hearing transcript reflects that at the conclusion of respondent's case, petitioner asserted that he might rest his case if one of his witnesses was unavailable for the next scheduled hearing date of December 8, 1994. On December 7, 1994, petitioner informed the hearing officer and respondent that he wished to subpoena additional witnesses. On January 3, 1995, petitioner presented a witness. The hearing was concluded on that date. A decision was rendered on February 14, 1995. This appeal was commenced on January 9, 1995.

Petitioner alleges that respondent failed to hold a timely impartial hearing in violation of federal and State regulations. Respondent denies that it improperly delayed this matter.

Education Law 4404(2) vests with the State Review Officer ("SRO") jurisdiction to review hearing officers' determinations. Therefore, the issue of whether a decision was timely rendered in this case is one that petitioner must raise before the SRO. While the Commissioner of Education may compel a school district to provide a petitioner with a hearing officer's decision (see Appeal of Wenger, 33 Ed Dept Rep 711), in this case a decision has already been rendered by the hearing officer. Accordingly, I have no jurisdiction to review the matter.