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Decision No. 14,925

Appeal of TIMOTHY and KIMBERLY SHAFFER, on behalf of FALON and GABRIELLA WILLIAMS and SAVANNAH SHAFFER, from action of the Board of Education of the Bethlehem Central School District regarding residency.



(August 12, 2003)


Roger M. Fritts, Esq., attorney for respondent


Cate, Acting Commissioner.--Petitioners appeal the determination of the Board of Education of the Bethlehem Central School District ("respondent") that their children are not district residents.  The appeal must be dismissed.

Petitioners" children resided in respondent"s district and attended respondent"s schools for several years prior to November 2002.  At that time, petitioners sold their home in the district.  Petitioners were unable to locate another residence within the district, so they moved in with Kimberly Shaffer"s mother in the East Greenbush Central School District while continuing to seek a residence in respondent"s district. 

     By letter dated December 4, 2002, respondent"s superintendent informed petitioners that their children would be excluded from district schools by December 20, 2002, unless they presented evidence by that date that they would be residing in the district no later than January 13, 2003.  This appeal ensued.  On December 27, 2002 interim relief was granted through January 31, 2003. 

By letter dated June 11, 2003, respondent informed my Office of Counsel that it had determined that petitioners" children had become legal residents of the district and would be allowed to attend its schools.  Accordingly, the appeal must be dismissed as 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 T.B. and N.B., 42 Ed Dept Rep ___, Decision No. 14,803; Appeal of Tobias, 41 id. 51, Decision No. 14,612; Appeal of Correale, 40 id. 15, Decision No. 14,405).