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Decision No. 16,797

Appeal of ISAIAH ABITTAN and JODY ABITTAN, on behalf of their daughter NICOLE, from action of the Board of Education of the Hewlett-Woodmere Union Free School District regarding transportation.

Decision No. 16,797

(July 24, 2015)

Ronald S. Ramo, Esq., attorney for petitioners

Ingerman Smith, L.L.P., attorneys for respondent, David F. Kwee, Esq., of counsel

ELIA, Commissioner.--Petitioners appeal the refusal of the Board of Education of the Hewlett-Woodmere Union Free School District (“respondent”) to transport their daughter to a nonpublic school.  The appeal must be dismissed.

On February 25, 2015, respondent received petitioners’ request for transportation for their daughter to attend a nonpublic high school during the 2015-2016 school year.  Respondent denied petitioners’ request based on its determination that petitioners reside outside the required mileage limitation.  Respondent states that it denied petitioners’ request on or about February 29, 2015.  Although the record is unclear as to the manner in which respondent transmitted its denial, petitioners acknowledge in their verified petition that they received respondent’s denial of their transportation request on or about March 4, 2015.

Petitioners challenge the route used by respondent to calculate the distance between their home and the school that their daughter will attend.  They contend that their daughter is entitled to transportation to and from the nonpublic school.  Respondent contends that the appeal is untimely and that its determination is proper.

The appeal must be dismissed as untimely.  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 Lippolt, 48 Ed Dept Rep 457, Decision No. 15,914; Appeal of Williams, 48 id. 343, Decision No. 15,879).  By their own admission, petitioners received respondent’s determination on or about March 4, 2015.  Petitioners commenced this appeal on April 13, 2015, outside the required 30-day period.  Petitioners offer no explanation for the delay.  Therefore, the appeal must be dismissed as untimely.