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Decision No. 14,455

Appeal of RICHARD and CANDY SEIBT, on behalf of their son, KORY SEIBT, from action of the Board of Education of the Carle Place Union Free School District regarding transportation to child care.

Decision No. 14,455

(September 1, 2000)

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

MILLS, Commissioner.--Petitioners appeal the determination of the Board of Education of the Carle Place Union Free School District ("respondent") denying their son, Kory, transportation to an after-school child care provider on a part time basis. The appeal must be dismissed.

Petitioners reside in Carle Place within respondent’s school district. All three of their children, including Kory, the youngest, attend district schools. Petitioner Candy Seibt works part-time on Thursday, Friday, and every other Wednesday. During the 1998-1999 school year, Kory was transported by the district from school to his home on Mondays, Tuesdays, and alternate Wednesdays, and transported from school to the after-school child care provider’s home on the days his mother worked. The child care provider’s home is also located within the district.

In June 1999, district officials provided written notice to the parents of students attending school in respondent’s district indicating that requests for bus transportation to a child care location for the 1999-2000 school year must be submitted to the district’s transportation office by July 10, 1999. The notice stated that, "while you may request that your child be picked up and/or dropped off at a location other than your home, these location(s) must be bus eligible and the requested location(s) will be the only one(s) to which your child will be transported."

Petitioners allege that they received this notice, called the district’s transportation office and were informed that the request they planned to make would be denied as it would require transportation of their son to two different after-school child care locations during the week. Petitioners further allege that they were additionally instructed to address any continuing concerns directly to respondent. On September 8, 1999, petitioners submitted a written request that respondent reconsider its transportation policy as it applied to their son. By letter dated September 14, 1999 petitioners were informed that respondent had denied their request at its September 13 meeting. This appeal ensued. On October 26, 1999, petitioner’s request for interim relief, requiring respondent to transport Kory from school to both his home and the after-school child care provider’s home, was granted.

Petitioners contend that respondent has transported their children to after-school child care locations on specified days according to a written schedule for the past five years without any negative results. They ask that such transportation be continued for their youngest child. Petitioners also maintain that if the requested transportation is not supplied, Kory will not be able to continue a stable relationship with his child care provider and their worklives will be disrupted.

Respondent claims that its determination denying the requested transportation to multiple destinations was reasonable and within its statutory authority. It also contends that petitioners’ request for transportation was untimely and was properly denied.

The appeal must be dismissed because it is moot. The Commissioner of Education only decides 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 a Student with a Disability, 39 Ed Dept Rep 45, Decision No. 14,169; Appeal of June D., 38 id. 596, Decision No. 14,101; Appeal of McConnon, 37 id. 691, Decision No. 13,959). Petitioners' transportation request was for the 1999-2000 school year, which has concluded. Petitioners have made a new transportation request for the 2000-2001 school year, which was denied by respondent. This subsequent request and respondent’s denial is the subject of a new "310 appeal. Accordingly, this appeal is moot and it must be dismissed. Because I have dismissed this appeal on procedural grounds, it is unnecessary to reach the merits.