On February 28, state lawmakers in Albany learned first-hand about the power of Rockland BOCES, with students sharing personal success stories demonstrating how our programs uniquely serve their needs. In meetings with New York State Senator David Carlucci, Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski, Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee and Assemblyman James Skoufis, our students discussed their academic and personal achievements, showcasing the incredible strength of our Career and Technical Education (CTE), P-TECH (STEM) and Special Education programs. Our students and faculty joined dozens of fellow BOCES educators and students from across New York State who visited the state Capitol to make the case for more funding and other legislative action that will allow our specialized programs and services to be enhanced and expanded.
Our Rockland BOCES advocacy team urged representatives to support legislation that would help BOCES remain economically viable, and even expand offerings, including bills that would:
- Raise the cap on the maximum amount of a BOCES CTE employee’s salary that qualifies for state aid. The $30,000 level has not been updated since 1990, meaning the balance of the salary must be covered by cash-strapped school districts. Raising the aidable salary amount would make it possible for component districts to enroll additional students in BOCES programs.
- Fully exclude all BOCES services and capital expenses from the tax cap.
- Allow BOCES to establish reserve funds to cover long-term costs.
- Extend the deadline of a state law allowing BOCES to enroll students from neighboring states.