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BABCOCK SCHOOL DISTRICT v. JAMES EDWARD POTOCKI AND DIANE LINDA POTOCKI (10/19/83)

decided: October 19, 1983.

BABCOCK SCHOOL DISTRICT, APPELLANT,
v.
JAMES EDWARD POTOCKI AND DIANE LINDA POTOCKI, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS PARENTS AND NATURAL GUARDIANS OF TIMOTHY JAMES POTOCKI



No. 44 W.D. Appeal Docket, 1983, Appeal from the Order entered February 1, 1983, by the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania at No. 2566 C.D. 1981, affirming the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division, of Allegheny County at No. GD81-22985

COUNSEL

Lee A. Donaldson, Jr., Donaldson & Donaldson, Glenshaw, Pa., for appellant.

John R. Orie, Jr., Orie & Zivic, Pittsburgh, for appellee.

Michael Levin, Blue Bell, amicus curiae Pa. School Bd. Ass'n.

Roberts, C.j., and Nix, Larsen, Flaherty, McDermott, Hutchinson and Zappala, JJ.

Author: Roberts

[ 502 Pa. Page 350]

OPINION OF THE COURT

Appellant Babcock School District seeks to open a peremptory judgment in mandamus entered by the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County directing appellant to transport appellee Timothy Potocki to a public school located outside appellant's boundaries. Because the Public School Code does not impose upon a school district any duty to transport a resident pupil to a public school outside the

[ 502 Pa. Page 351]

    district's boundaries, we reverse the order of the Commonwealth Court and direct that appellee's complaint in mandamus be dismissed.

Timothy Potocki and his parents, James Edward Potocki and Diane Linda Potocki, reside within the boundaries of the Babcock School District. The Potockis enrolled their son in Ingomar Middle School, a public school which is located in the North Allegheny School District, and agreed to pay North Allegheny a tuition of $1,800 per year for Timothy's education. As to the transportation of Timothy to Ingomar, North Allegheny school officials informed the Potockis that they should seek transportation for their son from Babcock School District, the school district in which they reside. The Potockis then requested Babcock to transport their son to Ingomar at Babcock's expense. That request was refused and the present action was commenced.

The transportation of pupils by school districts is governed by Section 1361 of the Public School Code, Act of March 10, 1949, P.L. 30, as amended, Act of December 29, 1972, P.L. 1726 (Act 372), 24 P.S. ยง 13-1361 (Supp.1983-84), which, in relevant part, states:

"The board of school directors in any school district may, out of the funds of the district, provide for the free transportation of any resident pupil to and from the kindergarten, elementary school, or secondary school in which he is lawfully enrolled, provided that such school is not operated for profit and is located within the district boundaries or outside the district boundaries at a distance not exceeding ten miles by the nearest public highway . . . . When provision is made by a board of school directors for the transportation of public school pupils to and from such schools . . . the board of school directors shall also make identical provision ...


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