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Decision No. 18,371

Appeal of L.K., on behalf of her child, from action of the Board of Education of the Locust Valley Central School District regarding home instruction.

Decision No. 18,371

(January 10, 2024)

Blodnick, Fazio & Clark, attorneys for petitioner, Edward K. Blodnick and Steven M. Fink, Esqs., of counsel

Sokoloff Stern LLP, attorneys for respondent, Chelsea Weisbord, Esq., of counsel

ROSA., Commissioner.--Petitioner appeals the determination of the Board of Education of the Locust Valley Central School District (“respondent”) denying her child (the “student”) home instruction.  The appeal must be dismissed. 

Given the disposition of this appeal, a detailed recitation of the facts is unnecessary.  The student attends school in respondent’s district.  In August 2022, petitioner requested the delivery of home instruction for the 2022-2023 school year.  Respondent denied this request on September 7, 2022.  The parties continued to discuss this issue throughout the school year.  This appeal ensued.  Petitioner’s request for interim relief of home instruction was granted on May 30, 2023.

Petitioner argues that the student “cannot safely attend public school” and “requires homebound schooling” for the remainder of her educational career.  Petitioner seeks an order to this effect.  

Respondent argues that the appeal must be dismissed as untimely and that petitioner has otherwise failed to demonstrate a clear legal right to the relief requested.

The appeal must be dismissed as untimely.  An appeal to the Commissioner must be commenced within 30 days from the decision or act complained of, unless any delay is excused by the Commissioner for good cause shown (8 NYCRR 275.16; Appeal of Saxena, 57 Ed Dept Rep, Decision No. 17,239; Appeal of Lippolt, 48 id. 457, Decision No. 15,914).  The petition was served on May 9, 2023, eight months after respondent denied petitioner’s request for home instruction.  Petitioner did not, as required, present any explanation as to why the delay should be excused in the petition (8 NYCRR 275.16; see Appeal of A.G., 56 Ed Dept Rep, Decision No. 17,084; Appeal of Long, 39 id. 463, Decision No. 14,284).  To the extent the parties were engaged in ongoing discussions or settlement negotiations, the Commissioner has refused to excuse late submissions on that basis (e.g., Appeal of S.R. and T.J.R., 63 Ed Dept Rep, Decision No. 18,357; Appeal of Mercedes, 56 id., Decision No. 16,985; Appeals of McLaughlin and Wood, 55 id., 16,886).  Accordingly, the appeal must be dismissed as untimely.

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