Skip to main content

Decision No. 16,319

Appeal of K.S., on behalf of her sons J.S. and I.S., from action of the Board of Education of the Baldwin Union Free School District regarding residency.

Decision No. 16,319

(December 5, 2011)

Ingerman Smith, LLP, attorneys for respondent, Noah Walker, Esq., of counsel

KING, JR., Commissioner.--Petitioner appeals the determination of the Board of Education of the Baldwin Union Free School District (“respondent”) that her sons, J.S. and I.S., are not district residents.  The appeal must be dismissed.

Petitioner’s sons have attended school in respondent’s district since 2003 and 2005, and were enrolled during the 2010-2011 school year.  On or about March 3, 2011, respondent initiated an investigation into petitioner’s residency, based on its inability to contact her either by telephone or mail.  As part of its investigation, respondent conducted surveillance of petitioner’s claimed in-district address as well as an out-of-district address over a period of 27 days between March and May, 2011.

On May 11, 2011, the district’s registrar and an assistant superintendent spoke with petitioner by telephone regarding her residency.  By letter dated May 11, 2011, the assistant superintendent notified petitioner of his determination that she was a non-resident.  This appeal ensued.  Petitioner’s request for interim relief was granted on May 23, 2011.

The record indicates that petitioner did not intend to continue to enroll her children in respondent’s schools for the 2011-2012 school year.  On or about September 13, 2011, in response to a request for additional information pursuant to section 276.5 of the Commissioner’s regulations, respondent submitted an affidavit by its director of pupil services indicating that petitioner’s children were no longer enrolled in the district.  Respondent also submitted requests it received from the Freeport Union Free School District for records for both of petitioner’s children.

The Commissioner will only decide matters in actual controversy and will not render a decision on a state of facts which no longer exist or which subsequent events have laid to rest (Appeal of a Student with a Disability, 48 Ed Dept Rep 532, Decision No. 15,940; Appeal of M.M., 48 id. 527, Decision No. 15,937; Appeal of Embro, 48 id. 204, Decision No. 15,836).  Petitioner’s children completed the 2010-2011 school year in respondent’s schools by virtue of the May 23, 2011 interim order and petitioner has not re-enrolled them for the 2011-2012 school year.  Instead, she apparently enrolled them in the Freeport Union Free School District.  Therefore, the appeal is moot.

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