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Decision No. 17,773

* Subsequent History: Matter of Keating v New York State Educ. Dept.; Supreme Court, Albany County (McGrath, J.); Decision and order dismissing petition June 10, 2021. *

Appeal of ELIZABETH KIRMSS KEATING from action of the New York State Education Department’s Office of Teaching Initiatives.

Decision No. 17,773

(October 15, 2019)

BERLIN., Interim Commissioner.--Petitioner challenges a determination of the New York State Education Department’s Office of Teaching Initiatives (“SED”) to deny her request for an extension of time in which to complete the requirements for obtaining permanent certification as a school counselor.  The appeal must be dismissed.

Given the disposition of this appeal, it is unnecessary to describe the facts in detail.  Briefly, petitioner received provisional certification as a school counselor prior to the events described in this appeal.  In 2013, petitioner received an extension to complete the necessary requirements to receive permanent certification.  Petitioner requested a second extension of time in 2019, which SED denied on September 6, 2019 (see 8 NYCRR §80-1.6).  This appeal ensued.

Petitioner contends that she has, in fact, completed all necessary requirements for permanent certification as a school counselor.  Petitioner further argues, alternatively, that SED acted unreasonably in denying her second request for an extension of time.  Petitioner seeks issuance of a permanent certificate in school counseling or, in the alternative, an extension of time in which to complete any additional requirements.  Petitioner further requests that “updated guidance and training” be provided to the Office of Teaching Initiatives.

The appeal must be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.  It is well settled that Education Law §310 does not authorize an appeal to the Commissioner from actions taken by members of the staff of the State Education Department (Appeal of Carmel Academy, 56 Ed Dept Rep, Decision No. 16,976; Appeal of the School for Language and Communication Development, 46 id. Rep 536, Decision No. 15,586; Appeal of Friends to the Elderly, Youth & Family Ctr., Inc., 46 id. 227, Decision No. 15,489).  Such actions can only be challenged in a proceeding brought in a court of competent jurisdiction pursuant to Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules.