Each year, each district must decide which BOCES services, if any, are desired. Each district pays its share of each service that it buys unless all agree to a different method of payment. At the end of each year, BOCES is required to return to participating districts any surplus monies. Likewise, any service operating with a loss requires that all participating districts in that service reimburse BOCES to ensure balancing of all budgets at the end of the fiscal year.

Districts can add BOCES services during the year. Therefore, BOCES budgets can, and often do, change. This makes the BOCES budget and budget process quite different from member school districts’ budgets, which generally cannot be increased once adopted. If a member district needs more services, and has the money to pay for the added services, it may request the new or additional services. This may or may not increase the total of the district’s budget as the district may shift some of the originally approved expenditures to those programs provided by BOCES.

After April 30, a district may not drop a service to which it subscribed unless:

  • BOCES has not employed staff and/or there is no extra cost to the other districts remaining in the service;

  • All the districts remaining in the service agree in writing to absorb the extra cost to them due to dropping the service by the other district.

The State Education Department regulates BOCES very closely. BOCES cannot offer a service unless school districts request the service and it is approved by SED according to previously adopted guidelines. Cooperative Services Applications (CO-SERS) are used for this purpose. Our budget, CO-SERS and contracts with our districts must match.

This guide is designed to help districts make decisions about programs offered that a district may wish to participate in next year. BOCES staff is available to meet with any district to discuss any of the programs. Request forms are sent to each superintendent for completion in December. A calendar of budgeting activities, of which this is a part, is shown below. We ask that districts not limit consideration to only those services shown herein because BOCES can start new programs that meet SED guidelines at almost any time if a new need arises.


December 2017:
Administrative/capital budget review with chief school officers.

Dec. 13, 2017:
Initial request for services form due.

Jan. 11, 2018:
Presentation of administrative and capital budget to BOCES Board of Education.

Jan. 26, 2018:
Copies of the 2018-19 budget distributed to chief school officers.

Feb. 16, 2018:
Distribution of final request for services form/program budgets reviewed by advisory committees.

February/March 2018:
Administrative and capital budgets presented to component Boards of Education

April 5, 2018:
BOCES Annual Meeting.

April 9, 2018:
Final commitments due to BOCES from school districts.

April 18, 2018:
Component school districts vote on BOCES administrative budget.

June 2018:
Final program budget booklets distributed