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Decision No. 15,862

Appeal of ROBIN GREEN, on behalf of her daughter AUTUMN BANKS, from action of the Board of Education of the Washingtonville Central School District regarding transportation.

Decision No. 15,862

(January 21, 2009)

Shaw, Perelson, May & Lambert, LLP, attorneys for respondent, Margo L. May, Esq., of counsel

MILLS, Commissioner.--Petitioner appeals the determination of the Board of Education of the Washingtonville Central School District (“respondent”) denying her daughter, Autumn, transportation for the 2008-2009 school year.  The appeal must be dismissed.

Autumn attended the Harmony Christian School (“Harmony”), a nonpublic school, from 2004 to 2008.  Petitioner failed to submit timely nonpublic school transportation requests during those years, but Autumn received transportation because one or more other Harmony students had timely applied for transportation and the district was able to accommodate Autumn at no extra cost.

On May 13, 2008, petitioner submitted a nonpublic school transportation request on Autumn’s behalf for the 2008-2009 school year.  By letter dated June 19, 2008, respondent’s transportation supervisor denied petitioner’s request because it was submitted after the April 1 deadline.  The letter also advised petitioner that the district did not have a bus route to Harmony for the 2008-2009 school year.

By letter dated July 14, 2008, petitioner appealed the denial to respondent’s superintendent.  By letter dated July 24, 2008, the superintendent upheld the denial.  This appeal ensued.

The appeal must be dismissed because of improper service.  Section 275.8(a) of the Commissioner’s regulations requires that the petition be personally served upon each named respondent.  If a school district is named as a respondent, service upon the school district shall be made personally by delivering a copy of the petition to the district clerk, to any trustee or any member of the board of education, to the superintendent of schools, or to a person in the office of the superintendent who has been designated by the board of education to accept service (8 NYCRR §275.8[a]).

Petitioner’s affidavit of service indicates that the petition was served on respondent’s transportation supervisor.  In its answer, respondent states that its transportation supervisor has not been designated by it to accept service.  Petitioner did not reply to this statement or otherwise present evidence of satisfactory service.  Therefore, I must conclude that there was no valid service of process and the appeal must be dismissed (8 NYCRR §275.8(a); Appeal of A.P., 47 Ed Dept Rep 220, Decision No. 15,675; Appeal of McNeil, 47 id. 210, Decision No. 15,671).