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Decision No. 18,380

Appeals of YOUNG ADVOCATES FOR FAIR EDUCATION (“YAFFED”) from action of the New York City Department of Education regarding substantial equivalency.

Decision No. 18,380

(February 13, 2024)

Christopher Hazen, Esq., attorney for petitioner

Hon. Sylvia O. Hinds-Radix, Corporation Counsel, attorneys for respondent, Daniel R. Perez, Esq., of counsel

ROSA., Commissioner.--Petitioner, an advocacy organization, appeals the alleged failure of the New York City Department of Education (“respondent”) and other unidentified school districts to implement “remedial education action plans” for students (“Appeal II”).  In a separate appeal, petitioner challenges respondent’s alleged omission of various schools from its 2015 investigation regarding substantial equivalency (“Appeal III”).  Since the appeals present similar issues of fact and law, they are consolidated for decision (8 NYCRR 275.18).  The appeals must be dismissed.

Given the disposition of these appeals, a detailed recitation of the facts is not necessary.  The factual and legal background of these appeals was set forth in Appeal of Young Advocates for Fair Education, (63 Ed Dept Rep, Decision No. 18,356) (“Appeal I”) and need not be repeated here.  In Appeal II, petitioner seeks, on behalf of unnamed and unidentified students, implementation of remedial action plans throughout the State for nonpublic schools that are found not to offer substantially equivalent instruction.  In Appeal III, petitioner seeks to reopen respondent’s investigation into nine schools that respondent deemed outside the scope of its 2015 investigation.

The appeals must be dismissed for lack of standing.  Only an individual who is directly affected by an action has standing to commence an appeal therefrom (Appeal of Abitbol, 57 Ed Dept Rep, Decision No. 17,333; Appeal of Waechter, 48 id. 261, Decision No. 15,853).  As in Appeal I, petitioner “offers no information whatsoever about its members or how any of these members were, in fact, harmed by respondent’s determinations.”  Similarly, petitioner does not explain how it suffered harm due to the lack of remedial action plans or as a result of respondent’s findings that nine schools were outside the scope of its investigation.  Thus, petitioner lacks standing to maintain these appeals (Appeal of Young Advocates for Fair Education, 63 Ed Dept Rep, Decision No. 18,356; see Appeal of Pally and Oak Tree Farm Dairy, Inc., 57 id., Decision No. 17,341; Appeal of James, et al., 54 id., Decision No. 16,646; Appeal of Hebrew Academy of Nassau County, 34 id. 449, Decision No. 13,378, citing Matter of Four Handicapped Children, 21 id. 130, Decision No. 10,623). 

Additionally, to the extent petitioner challenges the Commissioner’s Part 130 regulations, any challenge to those regulations cannot be entertained in this forum (Appeal of Marson, 49 Ed Dept Rep 295, Decision No. 16,031).

In light of this disposition, I need not address the parties’ remaining contentions, including respondent’s other defenses.[1]




[1] Given the disposition of this appeal, I need not address a request by The Association of the Bar of the City of New York to submit an amicus brief.