BOCES stands for Board of Cooperative Educational Services. It is a public organization that was created by the New York State Legislature in 1948 to provide shared educational programs and services to school districts. Today, BOCES continues to partner with school districts to provide a broad range of services to help meet the evolving needs of learners of all ages.
BOCES services are created when two or more school districts decide they have similar needs that can be met by a shared program. BOCES helps school districts save money by providing opportunities to pool resources and share costs. Sharing is an economical way for districts to provide programs and services that they might not be able to afford otherwise. However, BOCES services are often customized, offering districts the flexibility to meet their individual needs. Except for an administrative charge that is based on each district's size, districts pay only for BOCES services they use. BOCES expenses are incorporated into each district's annual budget. State aid helps offset some of the expenses, while others are directly funded by the state or federal government. BOCES has no taxing authority.