In 1948, the New York State Legislature created Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) to provide shared educational programs and services to school districts within the state. Today there are 37 BOCES, incorporating a combined total of 721 public school districts.
BOCES partner with districts to provide a broad range of services that help meet the evolving educational needs of students.
The BOCES mission is to prepare diverse populations for roles in the global economy; provide cost-effective shared services to school districts; and, initiate collaboration to close gaps in student achievement.
Why do local districts use BOCES services?
BOCES helps its component districts save money by allowing them to pool their resources and share costs. Sharing reduces duplication, and allows districts to operate more efficiently and cost-effectively.
At the same time, sharing resources benefits students. Together, through BOCES, districts are able offer increased educational opportunities without raising the burden on local taxpayers.
How are BOCES services paid for?
BOCES has no authority to levy taxes. Instead, funds for BOCES services and programs come from component school districts, state aid and a small amount of federal aid.
Each component district pays a proportional share of BOCES administrative costs, and each school board votes on the administrative budget each spring. In addition, each district decides which specific services it needs, and then pays its share of those services. As an incentive for districts to share resources, state aid is available to districts to offset a portion of their BOCES costs.