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Decision No. 14,974

Appeal of DAWN BEAUMAN, on behalf of her son ZACHARY, from action of the Board of Education of the Hicksville Union Free School District regarding an occupational program. 


Decision No. 14,974


(October 22, 2003)


Guercio & Guercio, attorneys for respondent, Gary Steffanetta, Esq., of counsel


MILLS, Commissioner.--Petitioner challenges the refusal of the Board of Education of the Hicksville Union Free School District ("respondent") to enroll her son, Zachary, in a Nassau County Board of Cooperative Educational Services ("BOCES") carpentry program.

On June 24, 2003, petitioner contacted respondent"s high school to enroll Zachary, a nonpublic school student, in a BOCES carpentry program for the 2003-2004 school year.  On June 27, 2003, respondent"s superintendent denied the request because petitioner had missed the June 1 deadline for filing such applications.  Petitioner then asked respondent to waive the filing deadline.  At its July 1, 2003 meeting, respondent denied her request.  This appeal ensued.  Petitioner"s request for interim relief was denied on August 29, 2003.

Petitioner contends that she was not aware of the June 1 filing deadline until after it had passed.  She requests a waiver of the deadline and a determination that Zachary is entitled to attend the BOCES program.  Respondent contends that petitioner failed to comply with the statutory deadline and has provided no authority to excuse her delay.  Respondent also contends that the appeal must be dismissed because petitioner did not verify her petition and did not join the BOCES as a party.

Respondent"s claim regarding verification is without merit.  A copy of the petition containing an affidavit of verification, in accordance with "275.6 of the Commissioner"s regulations, was annexed to respondent"s answer and filed with my Office of Counsel.

Respondent"s contention that the appeal must be dismissed because petitioner did not join the BOCES as a necessary party is also without merit.  A party whose rights would be adversely affected by a determination of an appeal in favor of petitioner is a necessary party and must be joined as such (Appeal of Monahan, 42 Ed Dept Rep __, Decision No. 14,824; Appeal of Holliday, 40 id. 534, Decision No. 14,549; Appeal of Heller, 38 id. 335, Decision No. 14,048).  Respondent, however, has failed to indicate how the BOCES would be adversely affected by a determination that would require respondent to fund Zachary"s enrollment in the carpentry program.  Therefore, I find that the BOCES is not a necessary party. 

Education Law "3602-c permits a nonpublic school pupil to enroll in a public school program in career education. However, the student"s parent, guardian or legal custodian must file a written request to enroll the student in such program no later than the first day of June preceding the school year for which the request is made (Education Law "3602-c[2]).  Here, petitioner admits that she did not submit a written request for her son"s enrollment in the BOCES program until June 30, 2003.

In an appeal to the Commissioner of Education, petitioner has the burden of establishing the facts upon which relief is requested (8 NYCRR "275.10; Appeal of V.P., 42 Ed Dept Rep ___, Decision No. 14,754) and the burden of demonstrating a clear legal right to the relief sought (Appeals of T.M., Sr., 42 Ed Dept Rep ___, Decision No. 14,855).  Petitioner cites no authority for waiver of the statutory deadline for enrollment applications.  Her allegation that she was unaware of the deadline does not provide a legal basis for the requested relief, and I am constrained to dismiss the appeal.