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Decision No. 14,405

Appeal of ORLANDO and ANGELA CORREALE, on behalf of JENNIFER and JONATHAN CORREALE, from action of the Board of Education of the Sewanhaka Central High School District regarding residency.

Decision No. 14,405

(July 19, 2000)

Douglas E. Libby, Esq., attorney for respondent

MILLS, Commissioner.--Petitioners appeal the determination of the Board of Education of the Sewanhaka Central High School District ("respondent") that their children, Jennifer and Jonathan, are not district residents. The appeal must be dismissed.

Petitioners resided at 173 Belmont Boulevard, Elmont, New York, within respondent's district, from August 1990 until December 1999, when they moved to 1199 Gavrin Boulevard, Franklin Square, New York, within the Valley Stream Central High School District. Petitioners did not notify respondent that they had moved, and thus Jennifer and Jonathan continued to attend school in respondent's district. On December 22, 1999, district mail addressed to the parent/guardian of Jennifer Correale was returned to the district marked "return to sender" with the Franklin Square address, prompting respondent to undertake an investigation.

By letter dated January 18, 2000, Fred Raulli, Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent, notified petitioners that Jennifer and Jonathan were not entitled to attend respondent's schools because they resided with their parents outside the district. On that same date petitioners requested an appeal of Mr. Raulli's determination and reregistered the children using 165 Belmont Boulevard, which is within respondent's district, as their address. Mr. Correale is a part owner of a house at 165 Belmont Boulevard where his mother resides and where his children stay part of the time.

Respondent's designee for residency determinations, Ann-Marie Hartline, conducted a hearing on January 26, 2000. By letter dated February 10, 2000, Ms. Hartline affirmed Mr. Raulli's determination. This appeal ensued. Petitioners' request for interim relief was denied on March 14, 2000. On March 16, 2000, Mrs. Correale signed Jennifer and Jonathan out of respondent's high school, stating "we moved going to another high school [sic]."

Petitioners contended that their children are entitled to attend school in respondent's district because Mr. Correale owns a house in the district and pays taxes on it. They also argued that remaining in respondent's district is in the children's best interest.

Respondent contends that its determination that Jennifer and Jonathan are not district residents is reasonable, supported by the record and in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.

The appeal must be dismissed as moot. The Commissioner of Education will only consider matters in actual controversy and will not render a decision on a state of facts which no longer exists or which subsequent events have laid to rest (Appeal of Polovsky, 38 Ed Dept Rep 230, Decision No. 14,022). Jonathan and Jennifer have withdrawn from respondent's high school and their residency is no longer at issue. In view of the fact that petitioners have indicated that they have voluntarily enrolled their children in school outside respondent's district, the appeal is dismissed as moot.