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Decision No. 14,118

Appeal of KEN BASH, on behalf of BRIAN BASH, from action of the Board of Education of the Fairport Central School District regarding an aviation program.

Decision No. 14,118

(April 29, 1999)

Harris Beach & Wilcox, LLP, attorneys for respondent, James A. Spitz, Jr., Esq., of counsel

MILLS, Commissioner.--Petitioner appeals the decision of the Board of Education of the Fairport Central School District ("respondent") denying tuition and transportation for his son to attend an aviation program. The appeal must be dismissed.

Petitioner and his son, Brian, are residents of respondent's district. By letter dated May 13, 1998, petitioner requested that respondent provide tuition and transportation so Brian could attend a three-year program, beginning with the 1998-99 school year, at the Aviation Learning Center at Edison Tech in Rochester, New York. The annual tuition for the program is $2000. Respondent's superintendent denied petitioner's request, and on May 14, 1998, petitioner appealed this decision to respondent. By letter dated May 27, 1998 respondent's president denied tuition, but stated that efforts were being made to provide transportation for Brian. This appeal ensued.

Petitioner states that Brian wants to pursue a career in aviation and requests an order requiring respondent to provide tuition and transportation for the entire three-year program. Respondent maintains that the Aviation Learning Center program at Edison Tech is not offered as one of its programs and Brian is not entitled to attend the program at district expense.

Education Law "1709(3) specifically authorizes a board of education to "prescribe the course of study" to be followed in the schools of the district. Decisions as to what instructional programs are to be offered in the schools of the district are matters of educational policy within the discretion of the board of education (Appeal of Cuellar-Oxford, et al., 36 Ed Dept Rep 348; Appeal of Zaleski, et al., 36 id. 284; Appeal of Brush, 34 id. 273). Respondent states, and petitioner does not deny, that the aviation program is not a program offered by the district. While I commend Brian for his ambition, there is no legal basis for me to order respondent to provide tuition and transportation to a non-district program.