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Decision No. 15,193

Appeal of KENNETH RUSSELL, on behalf of his daughter TYISHA KING-RUSSELL, from action of the Board of Education of the South Country Central School District, and Dr. Michael LaFever, Superintendent, regarding involuntary transfer.

Decision No. 15,193

(March 29, 2005)

Guercio & Guercio, attorneys for respondents, Gary L. Steffanetta, Esq., of counsel

MILLS, Commissioner.--Petitioner appeals actions of the Board of Education of the South Country Central School District and Superintendent Michael LaFever ("respondents") regarding an alleged involuntary transfer of his daughter Tyisha. The appeal must be dismissed.

Tyisha is a student at respondents' Bellport High School ("Bellport"). By letter dated July 30, 2004, district administrators informed petitioner that Tyisha had been selected as a candidate for the district's South Haven High School Academy ("South Haven") program to begin in September 2004. At a meeting on September 9, 2004, petitioner told the superintendent that he did not want Tyisha to attend South Haven. The superintendent told petitioner that Tyisha could continue to attend Bellport pending due process procedures for an involuntary transfer. On September 9, 2004 petitioner withdrew Tyisha from Bellport and, thereafter, commenced this appeal. Petitioner re-enrolled Tyisha in Bellport on September 14, 2004.

Petitioner contends that Tyisha was involuntarily transferred to South Haven in violation of Education Law �3214(5) and that she was denied due process. He further alleges that the facilities at South Haven are inferior to those at Bellport, and that his daughter's assignment to South Haven was unconstitutionally based upon her race. He requests that Tyisha be allowed to remain at Bellport and asks that the decision to implement the South Haven program be reversed.

The Commissioner will only decide 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 K.M., 41 Ed Dept Rep 318, Decision No. 14,699; Appeal of N.B., 40 id. 515, Decision No. 14,542; Appeal of N.C., 40 id. 445, Decision No. 14,522). Here, petitioner's daughter was readmitted to Bellport before this appeal was filed. The record also reflects that respondents do not plan to require petitioner's daughter to attend South Haven; she may continue to attend Bellport. Therefore, this appeal is moot(Appeal of K.M., supra; Appeal of D.C., 41 Ed Dept Rep 277, Decision No. 14,684; Appeal of Camille S., 39 id. 574, Decision No. 14,316).

In light of this disposition, I need not address the parties' remaining contentions.