BOCES budgets differ greatly from those of a school district. The BOCES Budget has three separate parts—Administrative, Capital and Program.
Administrative and Capital
The administrative and capital budget must be approved by a vote of the component school boards. The administrative budget supports the cost of all central administrative offices, such as the senior executive officer, and a significant share of the business office and department of human resources. Also, the law requires that all retiree insurance benefits be paid through the administrative budget. The capital budget includes the cost of facility rentals and capital projects.
Charges for the administrative and capital budgets are allocated to districts based on a State Education Department-developed formula known as RWADA (Resident Weighted Average Daily Attendance). Based on student attendance/enrollment each district pays a proportional amount based on their share of the total RWADA. Therefore, larger districts pay a larger share while smaller districts pay a smaller share of the Administrative costs.
The program budget represents the actual cost of running all of the various services that we offer. BOCES have no taxing authority, so most of our revenue is from the fees charged to component districts for the BOCES services they have chosen to use. Local boards of education review their district’s needs each year and make decisions about BOCES services. Because districts’ needs change every year, decisions about BOCES services may also change every year. If a district doesn’t need a BOCES service, it doesn’t request it and does not pay for it.
What is BOCES Aid?
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.