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Decision No. 18,080

Appeal of L.P., on behalf of A.J., from action of the Board of Education of the Frontier Central School District regarding residency and transportation.

Decision No. 18,080

(January 27, 2022)

Hodgson Russ, LLP, attorneys for respondent, Andrew J. Freeman, Esq., of counsel.

ROSA., Commissioner.--Petitioner appeals the determination of the Board of Education of the Frontier Central School District (“respondent”) that A.J. (the “student”)[1] is not homeless within the meaning of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act (42 USC § 11431, et seq., “McKinney-Vento”) and, therefore, is not entitled to attend the district's schools or receive transportation.  The appeal must be dismissed.

Given the disposition of this appeal, a detailed recitation of the facts is unnecessary.  The student previously attended respondent's schools as a district resident.  On or about April 2020, the student began living with petitioner outside of the district.  On or about September 10, 2020, petitioner requested that the student be permitted to continue attending respondent’s schools as a homeless student.  After respondent requested but did not receive information regarding the student’s housing, respondent determined that the student was not homeless and would be excluded from respondent’s schools beginning February 1, 2021.  This appeal ensued.

Petitioner contends that the student is homeless within the meaning of McKinney-Vento and, thus, entitled to attend respondent's district schools without payment of tuition and to receive transportation.

Respondent argues that petitioner has failed to establish that the student is entitled to attend the district's schools as a homeless student, and, alternately, that the appeal is untimely.

The appeal must be dismissed as moot.  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 Sutton, 57 Ed Dept Rep, Decision No. 17,331; Appeal of a Student with a Disability, 48 id. 532, Decision No. 15,940; Appeal of M.M., 48 id. 527, Decision No. 15,937).

Following submission of the pleadings, respondent submitted a supplemental affidavit from its homeless liaison asserting that the appeal is now moot because petitioner withdrew the student from the district.  In this supplemental affidavit, which I have accepted into the record (see 8 NYCRR § 276.5 [b]), the homeless liaison asserts that the student is now enrolled as a student in the Cheektowaga Central School District.  Thus, although the student was entitled to attend respondent's schools during the pendency of this appeal under the automatic stay provisions of McKinney-Vento (42 USC § 11432 [g] [3] [E] [i]) and State law (Education Law § 3209 [5] [c]), petitioner chose instead to enroll the student in the Cheektowaga Central School District.  Therefore, I find that petitioner’s request to have the student attend respondent's schools as a homeless student has been rendered moot (Appeal of M.G. and W.G., 60 Ed Dept Rep, Decision No. 17,878; Appeal of K.P., 58 id., Decision No. 17,661; Appeal of A.L., 56 id., Decision No. 17,072; Appeal of K.S., 51 id., Decision No. 16,319).

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




[1] Petitioner asserts that, at the time this appeal was commenced, she was “awaiting legal guardianship” of the student.