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Decision No. 18,319

Appeal of M.L., on behalf of her child, from action of the Board of Education of the Nyack Union Free School District regarding residency and homelessness.

Decision No. 18,319

(August 7, 2023)

Keane & Beane, P.C., attorneys for respondent, Ralph C. DeMarco, Esq., of counsel

ROSA., Commissioner.--Petitioner challenges the determination of the Board of Education of the Nyack Union Free School District (“respondent”) that her child (the “student”) is not homeless within the meaning of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 USC §§ 11431 et seq., “McKinney-Vento”).  The appeal must be dismissed.

Given the disposition of this appeal, a detailed recitation of the facts is unnecessary.  The student was unenrolled from respondent’s district in 2022 based upon unexcused absences from January through April 2022.  In July 2022, petitioner requested the student’s enrollment as a homeless student.  Respondent denied this request on July 27, 2022.  This appeal ensued.

Petitioner seeks a determination that the student is entitled to attend respondent’s district as a homeless student.  In connection therewith, petitioner alleges that the 2022-2023 school year represented the student’s terminal year in respondent’s high school.

Respondent denies petitioner’s contentions, including her contention that the student possessed sufficient credits such that the 2022-2023 school year constituted his “terminal year” in its high school.

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. In this supplemental affidavit, which I have accepted into the record (see 8 NYCRR § 276.5 [b]), the homeless liaison asserts that, despite informing petitioner of the automatic stay provisions of McKinney-Vento (42 USC § 11432 [g] [3] [E] [i]) and State law (Education Law § 3209 [5] [c]), petitioner did not enroll the student in respondent’s district during the 2022-23 school year.[1]  Therefore, I find that petitioner’s request for the student’s admission as a homeless student no longer presents a live controversy (see Appeal of L.P., 61 Ed Dept Rep, Decision No. 18,080; Appeal of M.G. and W.G., 60 id., Decision No. 17,878; Appeal of K.P., 58 id., Decision No. 17,661).




[1] The record reflects that the student is above compulsory school age.