What is BOCES?
BOCES stands for Board of Cooperative Education Services. BOCES is a public organization that was created by the New York State Legislature in 1948 to provide shared educational programs and services to school districts.
How does BOCES work?
BOCES services are created when two or more school districts decide they have similar needs that can be met by a shared program. BOCES helps school districts save money by providing opportunities to pool resources and share costs.
Why cant we just have the services here in our own district?
Sharing is an economical way for districts to provide programs and services that they might not be able to afford otherwise. It is often more efficient and less costly to operate one central service than it is to have separate programs in each school district. BOCES services are often customized, offering districts the flexibility to meet their individual needs.
Who makes the decision about which BOCES services to purchase?
Each year, local Boards of Education review their districts' needs and make decisions about BOCES services. Because districts' needs change every year, decisions about BOCES services may also change every year. The decision to participate in BOCES services is based on the unique needs of each district. If the district doesn't need a BOCES service, it doesn't request it and it doesn't pay for it.
How are BOCES services paid for?
A BOCES has no taxing authority. Instead, the sources of BOCES funds are primarily taxes levied by its component districts, state aid, and a relatively small amount of federal aid. These funds support an administrative budget (covering administrative salaries, equipment and services) and a program budget (covering other BOCES programs and services which districts select from the Service Directory, an annual listing of available services). In addition, BOCES may receive and manage funding from outside sources (e.g., state and feder) to cover special projects.
How is BOCES governed?
BOCES is governed by a Board of Education. Board members are responsible for curricular, financial and other policy decisions, just as they are at the local level.