Assemblywoman Sandy Galef, Senator David Carlucci, and Assemblywoman Amy Paulin are pleased that Governor Cuomo has signed legislation (A.10205-A/S.7120-A, Chap.396 of 2012) which will provide mandate relief to BOCES by generating new revenue and saving taxpayers money. This bill is similar to one Assemblywoman Galef and Senator Carlucci had introduced earlier in the session (A.9547-A /S.6303-A) and one Assemblywoman Paulin had introduced (A.115-A/S.1583-A).
“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,” said Assemblywoman Galef. “We must do what we can in the state to encourage new sources of revenue in these tough financial times that lessen the impact on our taxpayers.”
“This law will provide real mandate relief, reduce unnecessary costs for our school districts, and at the same time benefit taxpayers all throughout our state,” said Senator Carlucci. “Similar to what Assemblywoman Galef and I proposed, this plan allows for BOCES to actually increase their revenue stream and cover the costs for existing programs. I applaud Governor Cuomo for his commitment to reforming the system while ensuring that every child has the best opportunity to receive a quality education.”
"For the past 40 years, school districts have come to depend on BOCES to serve students who need alternatives to the traditional educational setting," said Assemblywoman Amy Paulin. "This legislation is a cost-effective way to enhance BOCES programs and to support our students without increasing costs to taxpayers," said Assemblywoman Paulin.
With school districts, including BOCES, in serious need of mandate relief, this new law will offer BOCES a way to generate revenue to cover programmatic operating costs. The bill allows for BOCES to engage in contracts with out-of-state school districts that wish to purchase school curricula and services from the school. This exchange of services and programs will additionally expand opportunities for school-aged students outside of New York to participate in a BOCES program when seats are available.
Putnam Northern Westchester BOCES, for example, recently designed an inter-disciplinary sustainability curriculum beginning in the second grade. In effect, this new law permits other schools outside of New York to purchase and utilize this program. These new funds would support the cost of BOCES programs, allowing for greater financial stability and potential to lower tuition costs, both of which will lessen the contribution from New York taxpayers.
“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 Dr. James Langlois, District Superintendent of Putnam Northern Westchester BOCES.
“I am so pleased to see bipartisan support for this initiative. Any way we can do more with sharing educational services while raising outside revenue will make government more efficient and help our taxpayers,” concluded Galef. “I thank Governor Cuomo for signing this important legislation.”