BOCES are the premier example of inter-municipal collaboration in New York state. Since its creation more than 70 years ago, local school districts have been able to use BOCES to provide a wide range of educational programs and services through an organizational structure that is a model of shared services. BOCES can leverage the strength of multiple school districts and provide a variety of services that, individually, school districts could not provide because the costs would be prohibitive.

The mission of District Superintendents (the leaders of the individual BOCES) is to be vigorous agents for reform, effectively advocating for educational excellence and equity on behalf of all learners in New York State. Doing this requires collaboration and leadership at the regional and state level in partnership with the commissioner of education, the Board of Regents and local school districts.

As members of the BOCES Educational Consortium, District Superintendents advocate for priorities at the regional and state levels to support the over 700 school districts the BOCES of New York State serves. Read more about the BEC’s advocacy priorities below.

2024 Legislative and Budget Priorities

Increase Reimbursement for Career and Technical Education

State financial support for Career and Technical Education (CTE) is outdated and needs to better reflect the current needs of students, districts and industry partners. Modernized state support for CTE should consider current costs and conditions. The current reimbursement mechanism for BOCES Aid has not been updated since 1992. Salaries and other instructional costs have increased exponentially in the more than 30 years since the last adjustment.


  • Raise the amount of CTE instructional salary that is aidable under the current BOCES Aid formula from $30,000 to $60,000 over the next three years.
  • Adopt a commensurate increase in special services aid.

Maintain BOCES Out-Of-State Services

BOCES are currently authorized to contract with out-of-state districts for certain services. These services include but are not limited to special education, CTE, professional development and standards development and support. Providing services to out-of-state schools and students provides a valuable revenue stream to BOCES that allow them to keep costs lower for their component districts and the state. Moreover, students enrolled in these programs are counting them to be available in the next school year. Out-of-state enrollment is limited and is not allowed if it would displace a NYS student. This authorization expires in June of 2024.


  • Make permanent the authorization for BOCES to contract with out-of-state school districts.

Address Critical Workforce Shortages

Statewide, BOCES and school districts continue to face shortages of qualified candidates for essential staff positions such as teachers, mental health professionals, bus drivers, and school-related professionals. These shortages jeopardize the ability of schools to provide equitable access to a high-quality educational
experience for all students. Key strategies such as recruitment through scholarships, expanded loan forgiveness, expedited training programs and increased opportunities for members of the workforce aim to address these shortages and support a workforce pipeline.


  • Establish and expand scholarship and loan forgiveness programs, and fees, for teachers, SRPs and mental health professionals who commit to remaining in New York.
  • Streamline training and licensure requirements for school bus drivers.
  • Modernize civil service hiring and promotion requirements.
  • Extend the ability of public sector retirees to work in BOCES and districts without pension penalty for five years.

Read more about addressing critical workforce shortages.

Extend Authorization for School District and Local
Government “Piggyback” Contracts

School districts and BOCES, like the state and other local governments are authorized under current law to purchase certain goods and services through existing state, federal and local contracts. These contracts are established through the same rigorously transparent procurement requirements as individual procurements. However, government entities (especially smaller districts) can achieve significant administrative efficacies and cost saving by “piggybacking” on an existing contract. This authorization is set to expire in June of 2026. At a time when districts and BOCES are starting to engage in a massive procurement effort related to the transition to zero-emission buses, local governments should be
encouraged to engage in those purchased in the most cost-effective way. To ensure that they can move ahead with confidence, this provision should be extended to ensure contracts of all kinds can be relied upon.


  • Extend the current piggybacking authority in section 103 of the General Municipal law to June 2036.

Maintain BOCES Lease Terms

Unlike traditional districts, many BOCES lease instructional space instead of owning it. This is because BOCES are not taxing entities and rely on their component districts for capital project funding. As demand for BOCES programs, especially complex career and technical education and special education programs grows, BOCES require more space. Current law allows BOCES to lease from other public entities for 10 years and non-public entities 20 years. Lease term can be extended by an additional 10 years with the approval of the Commissioner. Longer lease terms boost private sector owner’s confidence in the investment(s) and encourage them to authorize and support needed improvements. The authorization to enter into 20-year leases expires in 2024.


  • Extend the authorization for BOCES to enter into 20-year leases with nonpublic entitles for an additional five years.

Read more about aligning public sector BOCES lease terms.

Support Transition to Zero-Emission Buses

The transition to zero-emission school buses represents a major shift to the delivery of pupil transportation in New York. Districts around the state will need significant administrative and financial supports to approach this work. BOCES stands ready to help support their component districts approach this work, and wants to identify barriers and challenges that have already emerged, and that the State could help address.


  • Make electrification studies eligible for transportation aid.
  • Make policy changes to reflect failed bond votes and budget votes needed to support transition.
  • Ensure more uniform reporting, and cost controls for needed grid, substation and other non-district
    infrastructure needs.
  • Establish a policy and funding mechanism to charge “out-of-district” buses.

Maintain and Modernize State Aid

State Aid is critical to support for school districts and students, especially high need districts. Both Foundation Aid and expense-based aids are needs-based and drive the majority of state support to the state’s neediest districts and students. Now that the Foundation Aid phase-in is complete, it is important to carefully review the current formula inputs for a variety of aid categories to ensure that they accurately reflect current circumstances. Updated calculations and data may be needed to properly support quickly changing obligations and populations, including new special education requirements and sudden enrollment shifts due to the arrival of asylum seekers and other new Americans.


  • Ensure that all state aid formulas supporting students with disabilities are available to support students until graduation or until the end of the school year that the student turns 22.
  • Re-establish a current year growth aid formula to provide current year aid for school districts with significant enrollment increases, including those related to the arrival of asylum seekers.
  • Study the underlying components of the Foundation Aid formula to ensure that the inputs reflect the current student needs and district resources.
  • Fully fund expense-based aids.