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Decision No. 15,022

Appeal of S.I., on behalf of his daughter C.I., from action of the Board of Education of the North Colonie Central School District regarding home instruction.



(January 26, 2004)


David W. Morris, Esq., attorney for respondent


MILLS, Commissioner.--Petitioner appeals the refusal of the Board of Education of the North Colonie Central School District ("respondent") to revoke approval for the home schooling of his daughter, C.I., for the 2003-2004 school year.  The appeal must be dismissed.

During the 1999-2000 through 2002-2003 school years, C.I. was home instructed by her mother.  In April 2003, petitioner informed the district that he and the child's mother had separated pursuant to court order.  On September 8, 2003, petitioner attended a meeting with respondent's superintendent, district counsel and director of pupil services to discuss petitioner's request to have the district deny the home schooling application submitted by the child's mother for the 2003-2004 school year.  By letter dated September 12, 2003, the superintendent denied petitioner's request.  This appeal ensued.  Petitioner's request for interim relief was denied on September 24, 2003.

Petitioner alleges that the child's mother and the district violated "100.10 of the Commissioner"s regulations by failing to maintain attendance records, by providing an inadequate curriculum, by failing to properly evaluate the child's educational progress, and by failing to provide notices of intent to home instruct.  Petitioner requests that C.I.'s individual home instruction plan be revoked, that she be provided with in-school evaluation testing and be required to enroll in the district's schools.

Respondent contends that it has fulfilled its responsibilities and obligations regarding the approval and monitoring of C.I.'s home schooling.  Respondent also contends the appeal must be dismissed for failure to join a necessary party. 

The appeal must be dismissed for petitioner's failure to join the child's mother as a necessary party.  A party whose rights would be adversely affected by a determination of an appeal in favor of a petitioner must be joined as a party (Application of Simmons, 43 Ed Dept Rep __, Decision No. 14,899; Appeal of Recore, 42 id. __, Decision No. 14,856; Appeal of Dickinson, 39 id. 41, Decision No. 14,168).  Since petitioner seeks to revoke the home instruction that is being provided to his daughter by the child's mother, the rights of the mother would clearly be adversely affected if the petition were granted.  Moreover, respondent asserts, and petitioner does not deny, that the child"s mother has physical custody of the child and has final decision-making authority concerning her well being.  Accordingly, petitioner"s failure to join the child"s mother as a necessary party requires dismissal of this appeal (Appeal of Dickinson, supra).

In view of the foregoing, I need not address the parties' remaining contentions.