CORTLANDT, N.Y. ? Assemblywoman Sandy Galef (D-Ossining) is sponsoring a bill that would allow Boards of Cooperative Education Services (BOCES) to sell their services to out-of-state school districts.
Our BOCES offer a wonderful opportunity to share services, with the goal of creating efficiencies for school districts and saving money for taxpayers. We should be doing whatever possible to ease the burden on the local taxpayer, and this legislation is one more step in that direction, Galef said.
Galef said the proposal might interest school districts in Connecticut and New Jersey, adding that BOCES commissioners have already been approached by out-of-state districts.
Bill A10205 would require revenue generated by the program to be applied to the program costs of in-state students. Costs associated with out-of-state students would not be eligible for state aid, and only 5 percent of a classroom could be comprised of out-of-state students. Additionally, classes could not be created specifically for out-of-state students nor could more than 30 percent of an employee's time be devoted to out-of-state students.
The idea is that the increase in revenue would reduce the cost of BOCES services to member school districts. Commissioners of BOCES programs that participate would also have to file a detailed report with the legislature, with a thorough breakdown of the program.
BOCES offers career educational programs, technical services and special education services to member school districts. Vocational training often comes with tuition costs, similar to community colleges.
The bill would in effect create a trial program. It would expire July 1, 2014, allowing less than two years for contracting with out-of-state districts.