2018-2019 Proposed Budget
BOCES budgets differ greatly from those of a school district. Except for the Administrative and Capital Budgets (which are shared by all component schools and are based upon each district’s enrollment), districts pay only for the specific BOCES services they use. The cost of BOCES participation is incorporated into each school district’s annual budget.
Each year, a fixed unit price for each of the BOCES Co-Sers (cooperative services) is established, and school districts decide upon their own level of participation. A separate budget is then created for each of these programs. The total of all of these smaller service budgets is represented in each of the BOCES Divisional Service Budgets.
THE COST OF PARTICIPATION IN BOCES SERVICES IS BASED UPON TWO FACTORS: THE UNIT COST (WHICH IS DETERMINED BY THE ULSTER BOCES BOARD OF EDUCATION) AND THE NUMBER OF UNITS PURCHASED (WHICH IS DETERMINED BY COMPONENT DISTRICTS’ BOARDS OF EDUCATION).
Funds cannot be transferred from one service budget to another and BOCES may not carry over excess money within a Co-Ser from year to year. Any balance remaining in a Co-Ser budget at the end of the fiscal year is returned to component districts based upon their level of participation.
As an incentive for collaboration, school districts receive aid from the State for the shared BOCES services purchased the previous year. This funding is called BOCES Aid. The level of aid received is based on a formula that takes into account each district’s financial resources. The aid is distributed directly to the individual districts, not to BOCES.
Each year, about half of the investment Ulster County school districts make by purchasing BOCES programs and services is returned in the form of BOCES Aid and refunds. This represents a tremendous value for receiving high-quality, specialized services.