New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Fourth Judicial Department
Discretionary application of regulation
Shippens v. Board of Education of Buffalo City School District
Appealed from Supreme Court, Erie County
Background: The petitioners are teachers and professional staff employed by the respondent. They commenced an Article 78 proceeding seeking mandamus to compel the respondent to offer courses and sequences in the arts during the school day and equitably throughout the district in accordance with regulations promulgated by the New York State Commissioner of Education. They appeal from the dismissal of their petition.
Ruling: The Appellate Division affirmed. The court noted that the regulations at issue direct the district to offer students the opportunity for an arts sequence, but that the district may exercise discretion in how to do so. Therefore, the actions the petitioners seek to compel are not ministerial in nature but discretionary.
Claire T. Sellers for the petitioners-appellants; Mary B. Scarpine, general counsel, for the respondent-respondent.