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Decision No. 15,195

Appeal of ALAN H. and BARBARA T. AUSTIN, on behalf of their daughter ANNE, from action of the Board of Education of the Albion Central School District regarding dual enrollment.

Decision No. 15,195

(March 29, 2005)

David W. Lippitt, Esq., attorney for respondent

MILLS, Commissioner.--Petitioners challenge the refusal of the Board of Education of the Albion Central School District ("respondent") to enroll their daughter, Anne, in a program run jointly through Genesee Community College ("GCC") and Genesee Valley Board of Cooperative Educational Services ("BOCES").

Anne attends a nonpublic school. On March 23, 2004, she applied to the College Tech Prep Legal Careers Academy ("Academy") run by GCC and BOCES for the 2004-2005 school year. She was accepted on June 10, 2004 and on July 28, 2004, received a second letter inviting her to an orientation session on August 18, 2004. Mrs. Austin states that on August 31, 2004, a BOCES representative verbally informed her that Anne could not attend the Academy because respondent's superintendent would not allow her participation in the program. According to petitioners, that was the first time they heard of the requirement to submit a request for dual enrollment to the home school district by June 1.

Petitioners contend that they were unaware of the June 1 filing deadline and were never advised by any school official to submit a request for dual enrollment. Moreover, Anne was not accepted into the program until June 10, after the deadline had passed. They claim that other school districts permit students from Anne's school to attend the Academy and may "waive" the deadline. They also imply that respondent should have posted a notice regarding the June 1 requirement. Petitioners request a waiver of the June 1 deadline, a determination that Anne is entitled to attend the Academy, and a determination that respondent is required to pay tuition for Anne to attend the Academy.

Respondent contends that petitioners failed to comply with the statutory deadline, which is also incorporated in its Board Policy 8600. Respondent further contends that petitioners have provided no authority to excuse their delay or to permit a waiver.

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, petitioners admit that they did not submit a written request for Anne's enrollment in the Academy.

In an appeal to the Commissioner of Education, petitioners have the burden of establishing the facts upon which relief is requested and the burden of demonstrating a clear legal right to the relief sought (8 NYCRR �275.10; Appeal of Ritters, 44 Ed Dept Rep 117, Decision No. 15,117; Appeal of Beauman, 43 id. 212; Decision No. 14,974). Petitioners cite no authority for waiver of the statutory deadline for enrollment applications. Their allegation that they were unaware of the deadline does not provide a legal basis for the requested relief, nor does the fact that Anne's acceptance occurred after the deadline. In addition, �3602-c(2) does not require respondent to post a notice of the deadline.