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Decision No. 15,590

Appeal of FRANK TURANO, on behalf of his son NICOLAS, from action of the Department of Education of the City School District of the City of New York regarding transportation.

Decision No. 15,590

(June 5, 2007)

Walter E. Anderocci, Esq., attorney for petitioner

Michael A. Cardozo, Corporation Counsel, attorney for respondent, Huria S. Naviwala, Esq., of counsel

MILLS, Commissioner.--Petitioner appeals the determination of the Department of Education of the City School District of the City of New York (“respondent”) denying his request for transportation for his son, Nicolas.  The appeal must be dismissed.

During the 2005-2006 school year, Nicolas attended the fourth grade at one of respondent’s public schools in Staten Island.  In January 2006, petitioner requested that respondent allow Nicolas to receive transportation to and from his home.  By letter dated January 30, 2006, respondent’s administrator of common carrier services (“administrator”) denied the request.  This appeal ensued.

Petitioner asserts that a portion of his son’s route to school is unsafe.  Respondent asserts that the appeal is untimely and that its denial of petitioner’s request is consistent with its policy.

An appeal to the Commissioner must be commenced within 30 days from the making of the decision or the performance of the act complained of, unless any delay is excused by the Commissioner for good cause shown (8 NYCRR §275.16; Appeal of O’Brien, 44 Ed Dept Rep 43, Decision No. 15,092; Appeal of Spina, 43 id. 354, Decision No. 15,016).  The Commissioner has previously held that an appeal is timely when commenced within 30 days of receiving the determination (Appeals of Sitaras, et al., 43 Ed Dept Rep 434, Decision No. 15,044; Appeal of Malek, 41 id. 312, Decision No. 14,697).

Respondent’s administrator notified petitioner by letter dated January 30, 2006 that his transportation request was denied.  By letter dated February 27, 2006, petitioner’s attorney attempted to appeal this decision. However, my Office of Counsel returned his letter on March 1, 2006 because it did not comply with Part 275 of the Commissioner’s regulations in several respects.  This appeal was not commenced until March 23, 2006, more than 30 days after the administrator’s decision.  I find no basis to excuse petitioner’s delay in properly commencing an appeal, especially where petitioner was represented by counsel.  Thus, the appeal must be dismissed as untimely.