OSSINING, N.Y. Assembly member Sandy Galef (D-Ossining) is lauding Gov. Andrew Cuomo's approval of legislation that allows boards of cooperative educational services to sell their services to out-of-state school districts.
This new law will be a great opportunity for BOCES to not only share their innovative educational curricula and programs with schools, faculty and students outside the state, but also lessen the burden on taxpayers by raising revenue from other sources beyond New York, Galef said.
The legislation works as a trial period; the law sunsets July 1, 2014, and BOCES contracts must end at the expiration of the legislation, according to the text of the law .
A sustainability curriculum for students starting in second grade, designed by the Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES, for example, could be sold to out-of-state school districts. The legislation mandates that selling these curricula cannot result in additional costs to the component school districts.
Policymakers are touting the law as a kind of "mandate relief" and are hoping to generate revenue through the sale of BOCES curricula. Any profits realized will be reinvested into the BOCES district, with an aim to reducing member districts' costs, indirectly bringing down costs for taxpayers. Galef and Assembly member Amy Paulin (D-Scarsdale) co-sponsored the bill.
BOCES officials also spoke positively of the legislation.
This legislation is a big step forward for New York school districts and the taxpayers who support them. By allowing BOCES to sell services and products out-of-state, it will reduce the per-unit cost to New York school districts, ensure they have needed resources and help them constrain budget increases, said James Langlois, superintendent of Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES.
Paulin said, "This legislation is a cost-effective way to enhance BOCES programs and to support our students without increasing costs to taxpayers."