Striving to improve diversity, equity and inclusion

BOCES of NYS leaders recognize that there is extensive diversity, equity and inclusion work to be done in our schools and school communities across New York. Read more about the work we are doing to create more diverse, equitable and inclusive educational environments.


BOCES services are created when two or more school districts have similar needs that can be met through a shared program. Sharing is an economical way for districts to offer programs they otherwise might not be able to afford. These services must be approved by the commissioner of education according to need and practicality in a regional context. It will then be considered a Co-Ser (Cooperative Service) agreement.

Many BOCES programs are instructional and include, but are not limited to:

  • career and technical programs for high school students
  • services for students with disabilities
  • literacy programs and employment training for adults
  • regional summer school
  • professional development
  • instructional technology

The remaining programs are non-instructional support services that help school districts contain costs. Examples include:

  • business office support, such as accounts payable, cooperative bidding and health insurance cooperatives
  • bus maintenance and transportation services
  • energy cooperatives
  • labor relations
  • school lunch coordination
  • administrative technology solutions and support through regional information centers
  • state networks (e.g., Staff and Curriculum Development Network or “S/CDN”)

Contact your local BOCES to find out how they can meet your needs.

Value of Services

Value to taxpayers

All BOCES collaborate with school districts to develop shared programs that serve students and promote equity among all districts regardless of enrollment, income or size of tax base. The BOCES network helps to relieve some of the financial burdens increasingly placed on local taxpayers.


School districts receive funds from the state, called BOCES aid, for the shared services purchased the previous year. The aid is distributed directly to the individual districts. The amount reimbursed to districts is based on a state-approved formula.

Quality education for all

For 70 years, the BOCES model has proven to be a cost-effective method to ensure compliance with state mandates and has supported local and regional innovation. It has been said, in light of today’s fiscal environment, that if BOCES did not exist, they would need to be invented.