Galef and Carlucci Introduce BOCES Mandate Relief Bill
The following is a press release from state Senator David Carlucci and Assemblywoman Sandy Galef.
With school districts receiving less state aid from Albany and facing a growing financial burden at home, state Senator David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Orange) and Assemblywoman Sandy Galef (D-Ossining) today joined forces in an effort to provide another important step in mandate relief and to help generate additional revenue to cover BOCES program’s operating costs.
Their bill (S.6303-A/A.9547-A) is a hybrid proposal that would reduce administrative overlap between neighboring school districts, enter into revenue-generating contracts with other states seeking to purchase certain school curriculum, and provide for the opportunity for BOCES to offer professional development and career services not readily available in certain school districts.
“Reducing costs for school districts while providing an opportunity to generate additional revenue is a win-win proposition that helps taxpayers, teachers, and our kids all at once,” said Carlucci. “This is a common sense proposal that streamlines administrative inefficiency while allowing school districts to help cover their own costs, with many of which already operating at maximum capacity.”
“BOCES offer an opportunity to share services with the goal of saving money for taxpayers ,” stated Galef. “We must do what we can in the state to find efficiencies, and opportunities for new revenue. As an example, Putnam Northern Westchester BOCES recently created an incredible sustainability curriculum, which school districts in other states have asked to utilize. If BOCES were allowed to charge for this curriculum, they would be able to generate revenue and offset other costs which could help reduce the price of education for New Yorkers. We should be doing whatever possible to ease the burden on the local taxpayer and this bill is one more step in that direction.”
Under this plan, BOCES would be able to enter into contracts with other states, such as New Jersey, in order to allow those students residing there to have access to New York State BOCES career education programs, technical services, and special education services. In doing so, this would aid BOCES by covering costs of the program, with the added revenue allowing for stability and to lower tuition costs.
It will also allow for BOCES to serve as the central administrator for substitute teachers, prekindergarten teachers, as well as special education and human services personnel for two or more school districts. This would take the burden off school districts by reducing administrative overhead, reducing these costs for the school districts.
“I believe that any effort to expand the opportunity for school districts to benefit from BOCES services is especially valuable in these challenging economic times,” said Dr. James Langlois, District Superintendent for Putnam Northern BOCES.
Mirla Morrison, Social Studies consultant to BOCES, and retired Ossining High School teacher, agreed. “Teachers coming together with curriculum experts at Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES have developed particularly high quality courses of study,” she said. “The curricula it developed is being used in many districts all over New York State. Education for Sustainability K-12, Integrated Social Studies/English Language Arts K-6, and Science 21 for grades K-6 all provide exciting learning for students and tremendous guidance and support for teachers. It would be wonderful if teachers in other states could have access to what we have created.”
Adam has worked in the local news industry for the past two decades in Westchester County and the broader Hudson Valley. Read more from Adam’s author bio here.