BOCES ADMINISTRATIVE HANDBOOK 5

 

OPERATING PROCEDURES

AND POLICIES

 

The State Education Department

Office of District Superintendents

And BOCES

2002

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction
District Superintendents and Preschool Programs
BOCES Services to School Boards
Rent in the Program Budget 
Summer School 
Community Colleges 
Limited English Proficiency 
Movement of BOCES Programs to Local Districts
BOCES Alteration Projects 
BOCES Services as a Contingent Expense
Costs of Liability Insurance
Professional Organizations 
Conferences
Contracting for Instructional Services
Contracting with County Agencies 
Student Accounting When In Full Day BOCES Programs 
Charging Tuition to Parents 
Cooperation with Municipalities 
Non-Educational Services 
Itinerants and Unshared Services 
Multi-Year Leases 
County Funds 
BOCES Legal Authority 
Veterans 
Adult Tuition 
BOCES Contracts 
Teachers Retirement System 
Teacher in Residence 
BOCES Student Construction Projects for Ownership by BOCES 
BOCES Student Construction Projects for Ownership by Others 
Access to Career and Technical Education 
Charging Parents 
Accounting and Business Management Issues
Adults Enrolled in Career and Technical Education Classes Operated for Adults
Operating Procedures for BOCES Miscellaneous Receipts and School Store Fund 
Inter-BOCES Service Relationships - Cross Contracts 
Annual Charges Related to Cross-Contracts
Contracting for Consultants 
Guidelines for Instructional Support Services for Nonpublic Schools 
Suspension of Pupils from BOCES Classes 
Summer Activities in BOCES 
Treatment of Year-end Obligations 
Regional Transportation Planning 

Introduction

This handbook represents a collection of communications to District Superintendents concerning operating practices of BOCES which have been issued over a period of years, and summaries of memos and policy statements which have assisted the Education Department staff in making decisions on matters affecting BOCES. Each of the items represents the expectations of the Education Department for all BOCES and thereby constitutes current policy.

District Superintendents and Preschool Programs

The allocation of a part of the District Superintendent's salary, fringe benefits and/or any portion of the cost of the superintendent's office would not be a proper charge to the preschool (4410) or school age summer (4408) programs. Subdivision 4 of section 1950 of the Education Law provides that the salary of the District Superintendent shall be a part of the administration budget of the general fund and further provides for a maximum annual salary for that officer. Permitting a portion of the salary or an additional amount of salary to be financed by a fund other than the general fund and not disclosed as a part of the annual budget could result in total payments to District Superintendents in excess of the maximum established in law.

In addition, 34 CFR, Subtitle A which establishes cost principles for the restricted indirect cost rate to be applied to federally supported programs specifically excludes from eligibility compensation paid to the chief administrative officer and the cost of operation of the immediate office of that officer. It would be inconsistent to apply materially different cost principles to State funded programs accounted in the special aid fund.

BOCES Services to School Boards

Shared services provided to district Boards of Education such as staff development or state-aid planning are appropriate services for BOCES aid, provided such activity is informational and does not promote a particular position.

Services to organizations associated with school districts such as local or regional school boards associations are approvable but not eligible for BOCES aid. Charges for service should not be less than the actual costs.

The BOCES board has legal responsibility for the nature of, delivery of and appropriate fiscal management of a BOCES service. This responsibility may not be shared with or deferred to any other party except as provided for in law, e.g., Article 5G of Local Municipal Law, Teacher Centers. Legislative relations service (lobbying) is not an appropriate BOCES service and therefore is not eligible for BOCES aid. Approvable activity may only be provided through a service budget. Activities such as these, if provided in the administrative budget, do not provide the district the legal right to elect not to participate.

Rent in the Program Budget

All appropriations and charges for rental or acquisition of space for General Fund programs as well as charges for space for programs in the Special Aid Fund where there is no appropriation for rent or where program guidelines and regulations do not provide for a rental charge to the program, should be included in the Capital Budget and charged on the basis of section 1950 (4) (b) (7).

Where a program, which qualifies for inclusion in the Special Aid Fund in accordance with the definition contained in the Uniform System of Accounts for BOCES promulgated by the State Comptroller, contains a specific appropriation for rent in the program budget consistent with the regulations and guidelines governing the program, it would appear that the revenue sources (e.g., Federal Aid) which support the program could be used to pay such rent and that payment could be charged to the Special Aid Fund rather than the Capital Budget and the General Fund.

Summer School

A school district which participates in a BOCES-operated summer school must permit participation by any eligible resident regardless of the school that student attends during the regular school year. This does not guarantee acceptance of course completion by the pupil's school and the pupil should verify that possibility prior to attending the BOCES summer school.

A school district which does not participate in a BOCES-operated summer school is not obligated to send either its own pupils or school age residents who attend other schools. Both enrolled school district pupils or school age residents attending other schools may contact a participating district to see whether they would be accepted as non-resident pupils. The participating district may charge tuition to the non-resident pupils in the same way as they would during the school (net after aid).

Students from non-participating districts may enroll in a BOCES-operated summer school through a participating district, upon payment of tuition. Non-resident students enrolled through a participating district may be claimed for BOCES Aid by the participating district. The tuition charged to the student may not exceed the cost of the course(s) less the aid to be received.

The tuition for non-residents, while it must be the same throughout the BOCES, should take into account an average amount that will be returned as BOCES aid. While an exact cost less BOCES aid is difficult to assess at the beginning of a BOCES service, some reasonable approximation can be developed and this should be the tuition charged for non-residents.

Community Colleges

A board of education may contract with a BOCES for certain instructional services. However, the Commissioner has determined that a board of education has no authority to contract with an independent entity for instructional services (Matter of Nicoletti, 21 Ed Dept Rep 38; Matter of Friedman, 19 id. 522). Accordingly a board of education is not authorized to contract with a community college for the provision of a summer school program.

As an extension of school districts, the services provided by BOCES are limited to those which are appropriate for school districts to provide. Neither districts nor BOCES may undertake or provide instruction or related services designated at the level of higher education.

Every activity conducted must be initiated within an approved service program resulting from requests of one or more component districts. In each instance, the activities are conducted for district use or in behalf of districts.

BOCES/Community College Interchanges

Either organization may make its facilities available to the other by mutual agreement.

BOCES staff providing instruction to classes of college pupils for college credit must be appointed and paid by the college under their criteria and conditions.

Community college staff providing instruction to a class of BOCES pupils for high school credit must be appointed and paid by BOCES under the statutes and procedures which apply. Instruction may not be contracted.

Neither may provide instruction for credit to students of the other. The awarding of credit based on equivalence to occasional pupils may be considered by the high school, but not as a general policy or practice to groups of pupils.

Limited English Proficiency

Programs for limited English proficient pupils operated on a shared basis by a BOCES cannot be claimed for BOCES aid. The approved enrollment of pupils in such programs during the year may be used by school districts to claim Limited English Proficiency aid.

Movement of BOCES Programs to Local Districts

As school districts prepare to implement programs which have been formerly operated by BOCES, both agencies should abide by Section 3014-b of the Education Law with respect to the rights of teachers.

If a school district takes over a BOCES program, each BOCES teacher in the program at that time is automatically considered an employee of the district with the same tenure status, salary, sick leave, seniority credits and similar benefits earned in the BOCES.

The services of the teachers having the least seniority in the BOCES in the tenure area of the positions shall be discontinued when a district takes over a BOCES program and requires fewer teaching positions for the program than the number of eligible BOCES teachers. Discontinued teachers will be placed on a preferred eligible list for appointment to vacancies in the district, not the BOCES.

If more than one school district takes over a BOCES program, the BOCES teachers employed in the program will select the district in which they will be considered an employee. This selection right is based on the teacher's seniority in the BOCES and passes from teachers with most seniority to those with least seniority.

When part or all of a program is taken over by more than one district, BOCES teachers in the program should be advised by BOCES of their right to elect employment by the school districts based upon their seniority. This right of election should be accorded to the teachers prior to any action being taken by the BOCES to reduce staff. This is necessary because the right of election passes from the most senior to the least senior teacher, while reductions in staff pass from the least senior to the most senior.

BOCES Alteration Projects

Voter approval is required for acquisition or construction of real property. Therefore, if a BOCES first purchases land and later erects a building on that land, a voter referendum is required for both unless the referendum for the purchase of the land contemplated and included the cost for the creation of the building. Voter approval is not, however, required for alternations. However, it is required for additions to an already existing building, whether or not the addition is erected on land already owned by the BOCES.

If a renovation is incidental to the purchase, such as where the renovation occurs shortly after the purchase or where, at the time of purchase, the building would obviously be of no use unless extensive renovations are done (i.e. turning a warehouse into a school), then opinion, the cost of such renovation should be included in the purchase referendum.

BOCES, under Education Law Section 1950, are corporate entities distinctly different from school districts.

BOCES Services as a Contingent Expense

A school district's share of the cost of BOCES services is an ordinary contingent expense. This is reflected in Education Law Section 2601-a(5)(b), which includes the district share of the cost of BOCES services in the statutory list of items that are ordinary contingent expenses in small city school districts. For the vast majority of BOCES services, which are instructional services provided as a shared service the cost of such services is an ordinary contingent expense.

However, the cost of all services provided by a BOCES is not automatically an ordinary contingent expense regardless of when the commitment to enter into the service is made or of the underlying nature of the service. For shared services, Education Law Section 1950 (4)(d)(4) provides that a component school district becomes obligated to pay the cost of a shared service when it notifies the BOCES of its intent to participate, which must occur prior to May 1st. The cost of any COSERS covered by the notice of participation will be an ordinary contingent expense because the district has a statutory obligation to pay such cost. However, after adoption of a contingency budget, the board of education of a component school district on a contingency budget could not add an appropriation for a new BOCES service unless the service involves an ordinary contingent expense, because there is no statutory obligation under Section 1950(4)(d) for the district to pay the costs. In addition, there may be instances in which interpreting the cost of a BOCES service as an ordinary contingent expense would conflict with other provisions of the Education Law. For example, while a BOCES may provide a joint or regional transportation system, I do not believe that the cost of nonmandated transportation, such as transportation beyond the mileage limits approved by the voters, would become an ordinary contingent expense if provided through the BOCES. Also, the cost of BOCES noninstructional services not provided as a shared service under Education Law Section 1950(4)(d), such as the municipal services referenced in Education Law Section 1950(4)(d)(3) would only be an ordinary contingent expense to the extent it meets the general definition of an ordinary contingent expense (unless there is a preexisting contractual obligation of course).

Costs of Liability Insurance

The cost of the annual premium for liability insurance will be divided in the following manner:

bullet Individual items used in determining the premiums which can be specifically related to any particular BOCES activity are to be assigned to the budgets of the identified activities. (These would include such items as fleet coverage for buses to Transportation and malpractice coverage to Occupational Education.)
bullet The balance of the cost after deducting the above will be prorated between the Administrative Budget and various Service Programs, including those supported by sources outside of the General Fund, in proportion to the dollar volume represented by the appropriation for each.

In making this proration, the following procedures will be followed:

bullet The Administrative Budget will be adjusted by removing Rentals (470), Dormitory Authority (480), Transfers to Capital (910), Transfers to Other (920) and Interest on RAN (700).
bullet The calculation of the amount of these charges to individual Service programs when will be based upon the nearest 1 percent of the total among individual Service Programs; making no charge to any Service Program reporting less than .5 percent of the total volume used for this proration. Any amount below this rounding will be included in the amount charged to the Administrative Budget.
bullet Calculations will be based upon an adopted annual budget as of May 15. A re-calculation may be made annually to reflect budget adjustments for individual service programs, newly initiated service programs together with audited premium adjustments.

Professional Organizations

We cannot approve BOCES aid for activities which are under the control of a private not-for-profit professional organization. In fact, no BOCES has the authority to serve a private not-for-profit professional organization.

BOCES has no authority to operate staff development programs for private-not-for-profit organizations and certainly no authority to tell districts and other BOCES that BOCES aid may be claimed.

Conferences

A Conference is a BOCES service when BOCES staff have the major role in planning and have the major role in managing. BOCES does not have the authority to provide a lower fee at its conferences for members of a private organization.

Contracting for Instructional Services

Education Law, Section 1950, does not authorize a BOCES to contract with an entity such as a county health department for the provision of an instructional service such as psychological counseling.

There is no general authority for a board of education to contract with an independent contractor for instructional services or specifically for psychological services. In situations in which a school district does not have a school psychologist available for service on the district's committee on Special Education, the board is authorized to contract for such services (Education Law, Section 4402[1][b][1] [a]). However, such authority is limited to a contract with a board of cooperative educational services or another school district, and does not extend to a contract with a private contractor.

Contracting with County Agencies

The activities provided by a County agency must be of a specialized nature and supplemental to the BOCES educational program, specifically with respect to the counseling function of certified school counselors. Any such treatment and clinical services must supplement and not supplant the counseling required by certified school counselors pursuant to NYCRR 80.3(b).

Student Accounting When In Full Day BOCES Programs

Resident Count
Each student, regardless of where he or she attends school for instructional purposes, must be accounted for as a resident student by the district in which they reside. This count is used for determining district wealth.

Average Daily Attendance

Students attending full day instructional programs provided by, or through BOCES, are NOT to be included in the district's count of students in Average Daily Attendance. This count is used for aid purposes. School districts and/or BOCES should be advised of this when individual student BOCES full day programs are approved.

Such students generate BOCES aid only for the sending district (district of residence). Such students are not to generate Operating Aid for any district.

Charging Tuition to Parents

Article XI, Section 1 of the State Constitution provides that "the legislature shall provide for the maintenance and support of a system of free common schools, wherein all the children of this state may be educated."

That provision has long and consistently been interpreted as prohibiting the charging of tuition for any public school instructional program, whether offered by a school district or by a BOCES, and whether offered during or outside the normal school day or the 10 month school year.

Cooperation with Municipalities

While BOCES may be able to buy services from others, it may not enter into cooperative agreements with other municipalities whereby BOCES would furnish services which it is not otherwise authorized to do. This requirement that there must first be an authorization from BOCES to act would mean that, while it can furnish services to school districts, it could not do so for a library, since there is no authority for the BOCES to provide services for that type of a municipality.

Non-Educational Services

There is no general grant of authority for BOCES to provide non-educational services as a shared service. There is no specific definition of "cooperative educational service" in Section 1950, but there is a list of potential services which suggests legislative intent. Most of the services on the list are clearly instructional or related to instruction.

Basic municipal services are clearly not included within the authority for BOCES to provide shared services. Power, water, sewage treatment, telephone or security/police protection may not be provided by BOCES as shared services.

Further, BOCES should not be providing health-related services for district staff such as inoculations or drug testing. There are significant liability risks involved. BOCES assumes considerable liability in providing direct educational services to students, of course, but BOCES has explicit statutory authority to provide educational services. There is no statutory authority for health services for district staff. Therefore, it is not appropriate for BOCES to assume the liability risk for such services.

BOCES may provide services under Criteria-Guideline 7410 and 7430 for activities such as maintenance, HVAC, trash collection, repairs, etc., but the CO-SERs will be without aid.

Itinerants and Unshared Services

There is a difference between an unshared position in an itinerant service which is otherwise shared, and an unshared position in an itinerant service which has no other sharing. An unshared position, a "hanger", is permitted if BOCES receives prior approval from this office in writing annually. A hanger for a specific district should not exceed three years. BOCES must annually demonstrate that every effort has been made to find a partner, both within the BOCES and in neighboring BOCES.

BOCES cannot allow a district to take part in an unshared service. If there is only one person in an itinerant service who is shared between two districts and one district drops out, the remaining district must employ the person directly. If such a situation develops in the middle of a school year, BOCES may continue to be the employer of the person until the close of the school year, but no aid is to be claimed.

Multi-Year Leases

Multi-year contracts must include a provision allowing component school districts to opt out of the agreement on an annual basis. Doing so would protect the agreement against a possible legal challenge.

Equipment provided in support of a shared service may be eligible for BOCES aid. It is possible for a school district to enter a five-year agreement for the lease of equipment from a BOCES in conjunction with a shared service. On the other hand, if the transaction involved the purchase or lease-purchase of equipment from a BOCES, it would not be eligible for BOCES aid and could be subject to the requirements of General Municipal Law 108-b regarding installment purchase contracts. The critical difference between these two types of transactions is that in the case of a lease, the BOCES retains legal title or ownership of the equipment, and the district must return the equipment to the BOCES when the contract expires. As a contractual obligation of the district, the cost of such an agreement under Section 1950(4)(jj) would appear to be an ordinary contingent expense and not require voter approval. The BOCES is authorized by Section 1950(4)(u) to purchase equipment without voter approval.

County Funds

County funds may not be given to a BOCES or school district. Such a grant or pass through of county funds would constitute a gift which counties cannot make.

BOCES Legal Authority

Education Law Section 1950-4-d

This paragraph includes both the requirement for school district request and approval by the Commissioner as prerequisites for the initiation and provision of services. Both are absolute requirements for either a new service or the addition of a different activity to an existing service. All other subsequent steps and relationships are dependent upon these steps having occurred.

Education Law - Section 1950-4-h-1

Subparagraph (1) includes the language, "Arrange cooperative educational services with. . . other public agencies for shared services. . ."

Authority is provided in this language for BOCES to secure a function, activity or service from a public agency in the development and/or delivery of the approved services to district users. Without this authority, BOCES could not make use of resources existing in the programs of public agencies.

An example of this relationship is the use of library resources from a public library system to supplement the materials in a BOCES educational communications center and thereby provide a more comprehensive set of resources to districts.

An important consideration in reviewing each proposal for approval is whether using districts could secure the services form the public agency without BOCES involvement in the transaction. Depending upon circumstances, including whether public funds are already incorporated in support of the activity, some transactions may be approved without BOCES aid.

Education Law - Section 1950-4-h-2

Subparagraph (2) includes the language, "To enter into contracts with. . . in relation to the program of the board. . ."

The key phrase in this subparagraph is ". . . the program of the board. . .". The board's program is that which is approved, as requested, to provide services to district users. The meaning is similar to that of subparagraph (1), except that a different group of agencies is named.

This authority means that the Commissioner might consider a proposal in which a BOCES would secure a function or activity from a community college or other named agency to be incorporated as a necessary part of a service provided to school districts.

Examples of transactions under this authority would be (1) the reimbursement under contract to a community college for the use of a facility and equipment in which to conduct one or more occupational education classes; or (2) the reimbursement to a unit of SUNY (but not the Research Foundation for shared time on a computer system for the purpose of processing payrolls as an administrative application for districts, the operating staff and the application software being supplied by BOCES.

General Municipal Law, Article 5-6, Sections 119 m, n, o

Actions are authorized under these provisions resulting in cooperative or contracted services among municipal corporations. These include counties, towns, villages, cities, fire and improvement districts, school districts and BOCES. An activity may be conducted either as a joint activity (cooperative), or as a contract activity (one for the other). Activities conducted under this authorization are subject to the procedural steps and clearances which apply to each participating agency if it were acting individually. The Commissioner could approve services using this method of operation if there were adequate justification and planning to show that it would be the most preferable of the existing alternatives to provide for the delivery of the approved service. To be considered, an activity must be one conducted at the request of, and to serve school districts.

The participation in either a joint or a contract activity under this authority is to be covered by a written agreement. The agreement will include at least a description of the activity to be conducted, a calendar for budget development and a method for determining the division of costs, and the method of governance, including administrative procedures, accountability, periodic reporting and evaluation procedures.

The approval for BOCES participation in activities under this authority will give consideration to economic factors (cost effectiveness), program factors (effectiveness), availability of service (competition), and others which may be appropriate to each specific situation.

Veterans

Veterans Without a High School Diploma

A veteran of any age who has not received a high school diploma and who shall have been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable may attend any of the public schools of the state upon conditions prescribed by the board of education, without payment of tuition. Veterans shall be included in the pupil count for purposes of computing State aid - Operating and/or BOCES aid, as appropriate.

Veterans With a High School Diploma

A veteran of any age who has received a high school diploma and who shall have been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable may attend any of the public schools of the state upon conditions prescribed by the board of education. Such conditions may include a tuition charge. Veterans shall be included for purposes of computing State aid - Operating and/or BOCES aid, as appropriate.

The amount of tuition charged to the veteran is not to exceed the net cost of educating such pupil as determined in accordance with provisions contained in Section 174.2 of the Commissioner's Regulations - "Computation of tuition - charges for non-resident students."

The expenditure to BOCES by a component district to pay for the cost of a registered veteran's attendance generates BOCES aid. The method of determining the amount to be charged as well as the treatment of charges for withdrawals are subject to the policy of the individual BOCES as indicated in BOCES Administrative Handbook III under "Allocation of Costs of Service."

Veterans who choose to enroll in BOCES program for adults (i.e., evening programs) are treated as any other adult in relation to charges.

Adult Tuition

BOCES may provide training for employment to adults on a space available basis, with consideration given to occupations and industries in demand, and establish reduced tuition rates for such training.

Establishing A Differential Tuition Rate

A Board of Cooperative Educational Services must vote to set a differential tuition rate for adults to participate in secondary occupational educational programs. Without a waiver, as explained later, the rate may not be less than 50 percent of the tuition rate charged to school districts for the participation of secondary students in the same program. In addition to setting a differential tuition rate, the BOCES must establish terms to govern the operation of the differential tuition rate program. Such terms should include, but are not limited to, the following:

bullet Which secondary occupational programs will be open to adult students for participation at a reduced tuition rate.
bullet Which adults will be eligible for reduced tuition rates (e.g., all adult residents of component districts, adults employed by firms located within component districts, unemployed).
bullet Minimum qualifications for adults permitted to participate in a secondary occupational program.
bullet The assurance that no extraordinary costs will be assigned to component districts as a result of the reduced tuition program.

The terms set by the BOCES must be reviewed with the superintendents of component districts. For the terms to take effect, a majority of component superintendents must agree to them.

The legislation is specific about what programs an adult may participate in at the reduced rate: "A Board of Cooperative Educational Services may establish such reduced rates for participation of adults provided that participation is limited to assigned instructional staff and currently used facilities in scheduled secondary occupation education programs."

Adults may be awarded a certificate of completion for such training; however, they may not earn credit towards a high school diploma. The instruction must consist of training for employment through State approved sequences or parts thereof of secondary occupational education instruction. Programs offered primarily for adults are considered to be adult programs and not affected by the reduced tuition rate.

For the purpose of defining space available under the Adult Differential Tuition legislation, class size remains a local decision based on current practice, negotiated agreements, administrative policy or any other law or regulation limiting class size. Space available, therefore, becomes the difference between the local standard and the number of enrolled secondary occupational education students.

BOCES Contracts

No BOCES may be a sole provider; BOCES may not restrict the statutory authority of any other BOCES to provide authorized services to component districts. A commercial enterprise may choose to contract with only one BOCES, but BOCES is not authorized to agree to be the sole provider.

Further, BOCES may not agree to market, sell or distribute the products or services of a firm; use of public money or property to benefit individuals or corporations is not legal in New York.

Teachers Retirement System

Any school district staff who are members of the Teachers' Retirement System who take part in any BOCES shared services CO-SER and receive a stipend for BOCES for their attendance, are employees of the BOCES and the compensation (stipend) is reportable.

There is no distinction between a school district teacher attending workshop as a participant to receive training and a teacher "doing" something such as leading a workshop or writing curriculum. A stipend paid for any purpose is compensation and reportable.

Districts cannot pay the stipend/compensation and BOCES later reimburse the district as we do with substitute reimbursement.

Teacher in Residence

There can be no approval of BOCES aid for the time spent by a district employee for activities that could and should be carried out by a BOCES employee. Therefore, it is not appropriate to approve such an activity as a regular shared service.

BOCES Student Construction Projects for Ownership by BOCES

The educational objectives of having real projects for instructional and evaluation purposes are well recognized. The questions involved relate to the administrative arrangements which are necessary and/or permissible to ensure that potential liabilities and future complications are avoided to the fullest extent that it is possible to do so.

A recent review of these circumstances indicates that the following guideline is applicable:

Construction for BOCES Ownership and Use

The acquisition of any permanent structure, whether by purchase or construction, involves a number of concerns which must be respected. These apply equally to buildings which students may construct and to those which may be put up by a contractor as a result of bid awards. Among these concerns are those outlined below:

 

bullet Authorization - The referendum requirement to authorize acquisition by construction as contained in Section 1950(4)(t) applies.
bullet Design - The requirements of Articles 145 and 147 of the Education Law must be met: Section 7209, subdivision 3 requires that no school district may "engage in the construction or maintenance of any public work involving engineering.for which plans, specifications and estimates have not been made by, and the construction and maintenance supervised by, a professional engineer.provided that this section shall not apply to any. other public works wherein the contemplated expenditure for the completed project does not exceed five thousand dollars." The subdivision continues to authorize the services of an architect, in lieu of the services of an engineer.

The following provisions, however, are also applicable: Section 7209, subdivision 7, paragraph b, provides that the provisions of Article 145 (relating to engineering) do not apply "to residence buildings of gross floor area of fifteen hundred square feet or less, not including garages, carports, porches, cellars, or uninhabitable basements or attics." The same exception, relating to Article 147 (architecture) is contained in section 7307, subdivision 5.

bullet Purchasing and Public Work - The bidding procedure for materials in the amount of $10,000 or more is to be carried out, as is the bidding procedure for public works in the amount of $20,000.

In summary, the fact that students may supply the labor and some of the planning involved to accomplish such construction over a period of time does not change the necessity for approvals and clearances. The usual procedure of getting the program and use approved by the Office of District Superintendents and BOCES and the engineering features approved by the Office of Facilities Planning is to be followed.

As a matter of administrative procedure under this method of construction, the costs directly associated with such a project should be accounted for through a capital fund rather than through the instructional service budget.

BOCES Student Construction Projects for Ownership by Others

Building construction or other projects and services which are undertaken to provide instructional training for BOCES occupational students and which will be sold to public or non-public agencies, service clubs, or individuals shall be subject to the following BOCES operating practices:

BOCES Policy Guidelines

Written policy guidelines for the administration of instructional projects or services are to be developed in cooperation with the local advisory council on occupational education and formally approved by the BOCES Board of Education. Such policy guidelines shall included at least the following elements:

    1. Policy Distribution

      Provides that the policy will receive appropriate distribution to insure current general public knowledge.

    2. Public Announcements

      Provide that specific projects/services which are available for purchase by others shall be announced in one or more newspapers and/or in BOCES newsletters having general circulation within the BOCES. Announcements should be issued at least once each school year and within the 30 day period prior to any application deadlines as appropriate. Announcements for construction projects shall appear at least once in each of four weeks preceding the application deadline date.

       Such announcements shall provide a clear description of the projects or services that are available, how to apply and criteria to be used in selecting clients, including any order of priority that may be established; i.e.: service clubs and agencies will receive first priority; individuals only when other clients are not appropriate or available.

    3. Documentation Records

       Provide that a procedure to insure adequate documentation is maintained with regard to announcing projects and services and data related to receipt and disposition of all applications.

    4. Product Liability

 (1)    Provide that in each instance where a construction project is involved, (i.e., building construction), the designs, plans and specifications are to be developed, signed and sealed by a licensed architect or engineer.

(NOTE): Because of the fact that these buildings may be used by third parties and are constructed by students, it is required that the services of an architect or engineer should in all cases be used. This is true not only in relation to plans and specifications but also in supervision of construction, even where not expressly required by law, so as to mitigate possible problems of liability.

(2)    Provide that in other instances in which a product or service is developed, which is sold to provide experience for students or to recover some of the costs of materials, that the action items shall be completed to protect against potential liability. The initial agreement covering such transactions shall include that an express waiver of liability be signed. In addition, there shall be a specific notification to the client that no guarantee is given as to perfection, and that mechanical or other features should be checked by an expert before using the item. Clients should be further informed that such projects are primarily for instructional purposes and may be limited as to availability and uncertain as to time for completion.

     E.    Public Funds

Provide that arrangements for handling the expenditures and receipts for such projects will be such as to assure that public funds do not inure to the benefit of an individual, private firm or nonpublic agency. With major construction projects, it is often preferable to have materials purchased by the owner. Lacking this arrangement, purchase of materials from the instructional budget is acceptable and aidable, however, the agreement must have definite provisions for the recovery upon resale and/or the establishment of a revolving fund from receipts, devoted to the purchase of materials for future projects.

Access to Career and Technical Education

State law mandates that school districts must provide secondary school students with access to career and technical education programs. School districts may not use unfavorable financial conditions nor other problems as reasons for denying students access to career and technical education programs. Limiting access to such programs by establishing formal or informal quota systems often denies students their right to career and technical education programs.

Section 141.1 of the Commissioner's Regulations, which requires that a board of education which establishes a career and technical education program must provide all persons with access to the program.

Section 4602 of Education Law must be viewed as complementing Section 3202 for, as the Commissioner of Education held in Matter of Levy (13 Ed. Dept. Rep. 41 (1973), and affirmed in Matter of DiBari (13 id. 103 (1973), and Matter of Koenig (14 id. 298 1975): "Reading these sections together, it is clear that vocational courses must be offered to 'persons over five and under twenty-one years of age'. . ." This right may not be restricted by imposing quotas on the number of young people a school district sends to a BOCES or serves in its own system in career and technical education programs.

A board of education may not legally restrict the number of children attending boards of cooperative educational services career and technical programs, since career and technical education is mandated under the provisions of Article 93 of the Education Law.

Preparatory training for employment, as cited in Section 4602, is an educational mandate similar to other educational mandates, such as those for the education of students with disabilities which cannot be ignored for budgetary reasons.

A pupil who has not received a high school diploma is entitled to attend classes without the payment of tuition until reaching the age of 21. This includes the right to attend vocational courses under Section 2045 and the right to attend career and technical courses under Section 4602. A non-veteran under 21 who has received a high school diploma may be charged tuition at the option of the local board of education. Whether or not tuition is charged, State aid will not be paid based on such pupil's post-graduate attendance (Section 3202(1)).

Section 4602 does not require that a district which does not provide a specific career and technical course must pay tuition for attendance at such a program in another district (or another BOCES).

Charging Parents

There is no authority for a noncomponent school district to grant approval for students to attend a BOCES program and to charge the parents with the costs. Neither a board of education nor a BOCES may conduct a private school.

Accounting and Business Management Issues

  1. Accounting for Certain Items

Supplemental Retirement, health insurance-retirees and liability insurance

The costs of Supplemental Retirement benefits are generated by services performed in the past years. This cost has been viewed as an obligation of the agency rather than of current users in any given year. These costs will remain in the Administrative Budget.

A similar situation exists with the costs of Health Insurance for retirees. In order to relate the costs to users served by the retired personnel, an unrealistic amount of record keeping would be required. These costs will remain in the Administrative Budget.

There is general agreement concerning the concept that the major exposure to liability is generated by the operation of the various Service Programs. Once it is determined that a claim is payable, however, the responsibility rests not with a particular Service Program but with the agency as a corporate body. Lacking an established basis for change, the costs for Liability Insurance will remain in the Administrative Budget.

 

Adults Enrolled in Career and Technical Education Classes Operated for Adults

There are three separate arrangements for programs which are planned and initiated for adults in career and technical education.

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 Programs for which State or Federal funds through State Education Department grants are made in partial support of the operating costs. (Grant Supported)

bullet

 Programs operated under contract with a public agency or as a public benefit activity. (Contracted)

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 Programs supported solely by the charges collected from individuals enrolled. (Self-Sustaining)

Policy

BOCES may properly operate programs exclusively for adults. Public policy warrants dealing directly with individuals for those activities which have been recognized as in the public interest by the award of direct categorical grant for services to adults and for those activities which are directly related to current BOCES activities for high school age pupils in occupational education.

Lacking such a policy for financial support, the activities operated exclusively for adults will follow the procedures outlined for self-sustaining programs on the following pages.

Each service program will be closed out annually except for certain exceptional carryover programs (example: a grant program with a term which overlaps the school fiscal year). It will be necessary that each of the three different programs involved be identified on a separate application (CO-SER) and the financial accounts and reports, as well as other information, be kept on this basis.

 

  1. Grant-Supported Programs
bullet

Such programs will be considered open enrollment programs without regard to residence or requests from school districts.

bullet

With adequate management control for the cancellation of low enrollment classes, there should be no occasion for deficits.

bullet

In the instance of surpluses, upon the submission of a final report the grant will be adjusted and the excess funds returned to the agency making the original grant (in most cases, the State Education Department) funds.

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A CO-SER is to be on file (at BOCES) for any grant activity undertaken by BOCES.

     2.    Contracted Programs

This group includes apprenticeship programs or other similar activities for retraining and/or upgrading specific groups for specific purposes with an individual public agency or, in some cases, industry.

bullet

BOCES may deal directly with agencies in negotiating for the operation of these public benefit activities.

The full cost of such programs must be secured from the contracting agency; no public funds from school districts may be used for support for any such operation.

bullet

Terms and conditions of contracts are to be such to allow for adjustment for unanticipated expenditures. In some instances, a cost plus contract based upon agency approval of a budget may be feasible.

bullet

A CO-SER, together with a copy of a negotiated contract, is to be on file (at BOCES) for any such activity to be undertaken by the BOCES.

     3.    Self-Sustaining Programs

This group includes those courses supported solely from charges to individual enrollees.

Career and Technical Education courses are to be considered as a separate Service Program (CO-SER) from general education courses.

Operation of these Service Programs will be subject to the Commissioner's approval through established procedures.

Authorization in statute for a BOCES to operate a program for adults is provided in Article 5-G of the General Municipal Law. This article authorizes a BOCES to enter into an agreement with a school district for the joint performance of this function. In order to meet the requirements for deficits and surpluses, such an agreement must contain provisions related to the allocation of revenues and the financing of operating expenses for the program (see Section 119, subdivision 2).

Career and Technical Education Programs

bullet Publicity for recruiting for programs directly related to the existing high school program may be undertaken in districts not operating similar courses for adults.
bullet Planning activities to establish courses not directly related to the existing high school program will include a determination of whether similar courses are operated by any school district or community college in the recruiting area. Evidence that such planning did occur and that any school district or community college with competing courses was made aware of the proposed BOCES program will be included in the application.
bullet Participants may be enrolled directly by BOCES.
bullet The Article 5-G school district agreement must include provisions for at least annual settlement of BOCES surpluses or deficits. A copy of the original agreement and any subsequent renewals or revisions will accompany the CO-SER for such programs.

General Education Programs

bullet Planning for any adult instructional program other than courses in Career and Technical Education must involve all school districts which operate instructional programs for adults.
bullet Evidence of the planning procedure will be included with the application. Concurrence by the district administrator for any competing course proposed for BOCES operation will be included.
bullet Participants may be enrolled directly by BOCES.
bullet The Article 5-G agreement must meet the same requirements as for Occupational Education.

Operating Procedures for BOCES Miscellaneous Receipts and School Store Fund

In addition to revenues from contracting school districts and aid from the State and federal government, most BOCES receive miscellaneous receipts from local sources. These receipts are generated by activities within various service programs such as cosmetology and auto mechanics. These receipts are called patron sales and are revenues to the service program.

A BOCES which operates a School Store will also have receipts from book and supply sales. These moneys are board moneys and must be deposited with the board treasurer.

Cash Procedures

With Cash Register:

a.    The cashier should not have access to the register tape.
b.    The cashier should count the cash at the end of each day and prepare a detailed statement of cash and checks transmitted to the treasurer.
c.    The treasurer should remove the register tape and reconcile it with the cashier's statement.
d.    The treasurer should issue a receipt to the cashier, retain the duplicate, and prepare the deposit.

 Without Cash Register:

a.    The person originally receiving money should issue receipts using press-numbered triplicate forms. The first copy of the receipt goes to the payer, second copy should accompany cash turned over to the treasurer and the third copy remains with issuer.
b.    The treasurer should issue press-numbered receipts in duplicate for all moneys received. The original should be given to the payers, and the duplicates retained.
c.    Treasurer should prepare deposit.

All receipts issued should show: date; name of payer; amount; purpose of payment; service program code; revenue code; person receiving the money and indication of payment by cash or check:

All employees who are authorized to receive moneys on behalf of BOCES should be informed of the above procedures. Instructions should be given that all receipts must be turned over to the treasurer for deposit into an official bank account. Under no circumstances should cash receipts be used to purchase supplies. All purchases of materials and supplies are to be made through the normal BOCES purchasing procedures.

Student Restaurant

When a restaurant is operated solely by students in conjunction with a service program, the accounting for revenues and expenses is in the BOCES general fund under the proper service program. Cash handling requirements would be detailed above.

Lunch Fund

A separate lunch fund must be maintained where the operation of food service exceeds the requirements of, or is unrelated to, the instructional program. Accounting for such fund shall be in accordance with the Uniform System of Accounts for BOCES.

Admissions

Special consideration should be given to accounting for sales of admission tickets and other types of gate receipts:

    1. Use prenumbered tickets and use such controls as tearing sole tickets in half, or alternating ticket colors and/or number sequences for different events, to prevent fraudulent re-use.
    2. Assign to each ticket seller a definite number of tickets and a definite amount of change. A ticket reconciliation form should be required of each seller.
    3. A sufficient number of ticket sellers should be used to avoid undue haste.
    4. Student ticket sellers should be supervised by adults.
    5. Each ticket seller must return all unsold tickets, full amount of change and the exact amount of receipts immediately after each event.

Extra classroom Funds

Moneys raised by student groups, commonly referred to as extraclassroom funds, are not BOCES moneys and are not the responsibility of the BOCES Treasurer. However, the BOCES board should adopt rules and regulations to insure the safeguarding of the money. Finance Pamphlet #2, available from the State Education Department on the WEB at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/mgtserv/gemsho.htm, details suggested procedures to safeguard these funds.

School Store Fund

The board may authorize a separate fund for this purpose to be accounted for as prescribed by the BOCES Uniform System of Accounts. Instructional related items for resale to students that might be handled through the School Store are:

General supplies such as paper, notebooks, pens and pencils;
Special supplies such as uniforms, texts;
Custom ordered supplies.

Cash Handling Procedures for a School Store

The School Store will be operated separately from the Extraclassroom Activity Fund and the General Fund. The Board treasurer is responsible for receiving and managing all funds for this purpose. The Board purchasing agent is responsible for authorizing all purchases. Appropriate reports should be prepared and submitted monthly to the Board which will indicate the status of these funds with respect to profit or loss. Adequate records should be maintained to account for all receipts and expenditures from these funds. Cash handling procedures described above should be followed.

Inter-BOCES Service Relationships - Cross Contracts

There are several concerns connected with the delivery of services across BOCES lines which need continuing attention.

In view of the fact that planning and operation of Inter-BOCES Services presents, at best, a difficult communications problem, it is important that each individual involved in the entire process be made aware of his or her responsibility in this regard. In order to maintain an acceptable level of positive relationships, it will be necessary to periodically reinforce your commitment to these procedures by reminding each individual concerned of the importance of these matters.

Instances have been reported in the past in which service program managers make arrangements across BOCES lines directly with department heads or staff in school districts without the knowledge or approval of the using district central office or the district's "Home" BOCES.

Direct solicitation of service requests by individual program managers outside of established communications channels should not occur.

An annual review by District Superintendent in November-December before service requests are collected is necessary.

Inter-BOCES Service Relationships

The dollar volume of service programs provided collectively by BOCES to districts across BOCES lines continues to grow annually. The maintenance of constructive relationships among all offices and individuals affected requires that each person involved respects certain information procedures.

Policy

It is intended that a district will obtain desired services from its home BOCES. Requests for a service to be obtained across BOCES lines are to be limited to those services which are

bullet not available in the "Home" BOCES,
bullet significantly different than those available in the "Home" BOCES, or
bullet if similar, in the best interest of the pupil if provided from outside.

Direct competition for service requests is to be prevented.

Procedures

The initiation of a service begins with the written request of a district to its BOCES. The decision to participate or not to participate in each BOCES service program is made annually by each district. Inasmuch as there are no "mandatory" BOCES service programs, soliciting requests from departments or staff of school districts without prior approval of the district central office is inappropriate and will predictably create problems. District Superintendents are requested to inform BOCES program managers not to solicit services from school districts across BOCES lines. If a District Superintendent and one or more chief school officers request information, such of course is a different matter and should pose no problems.

Approvals

 

 

Each BOCES involved is required to have the using district shown on its approved CO-SER.

The fact that a district is missing from the CO-SER of its "Home" BOCES but shown on "Operating" BOCES as a cross-contract user is taken as an indicator of soliciting. Retroactive approval of such arrangements should not be expected.

Information - Materials

Any printed materials distributed across BOCES lines for use in districts are to include specific directions instructing the district to file written requests through the "Home" BOCES before any request for service can be honored.

Annual Charges Related to Cross-Contracts

With the increase in volume of services being operated on a multi-BOCES (Regional) basis such as planning, data processing and others, it is important that there be a common understanding among all users of a given service of how costs may be divided. The following principles and procedures will apply to charges related to services covered by cross-contracts between BOCES.

Building Costs - (Rental Costs or Dormitory Charges)

 

 

Principle - The "operating" BOCES may charge "outside" using districts and BOCES up to the amount prorated according to the proportion of the service being used.

Administrative Procedures

"Agreements" - With the approval of the Education Department, agreements for a service (and associated costs for buildings) may be drawn between BOCES for up to ten years. None have yet been proposed or negotiated. If proposed, such agreements should contain the formula, method or basis upon which annual charges are to be determined, rather than an actual annual dollar amount. If such an agreement covers building costs, there could well be a minimum dollar amount, coupled with a method or formula for annual computation. The term of an agreement covering building costs may not extend beyond the term of the obligation of the "operating" BOCES for the building being used.

Annual Service Contracts (AS-7) - An amount separately identified as "Rental" or "Building" may be charged on the cross-contract in addition to the amount charged for the service. Each of the two charges should be broken down to show the amount for each using district or BOCES. A worksheet showing the method of computation should accompany the contracts. The net costs for buildings, after deducting the amounts charged to "outsiders", is then charged to the components of the "operating" BOCES, based on RWADA. The "buying" BOCES transmits the building charges to the AS-7 with each using component districts as a separately identified item from its own RWADA building charges and claims current aid in the same manner as with other building expenditures.

Administrative and Clerical Costs

Principle - The "operating" BOCES may charge "outside" using districts and BOCES for that part of administrative and clerical costs identifiable as associated with providing the service, up to the amount pro-rated according to the proportion of the service being used.

Administrative Procedures

An amount separately is identified on the cross-contract in addition to the amount charged for the service. Each using district or BOCES should be listed with the appropriate amount charged to each. The net cost, after deducting the amounts charged to "outsiders", is then charged to the components of the "operating" BOCES, based on RWADA, or valuation, according to the policy in force. The "buying" BOCES transmits the administrative charge to the AS-7 of the using component district, as a separately identified item associated with that service. A worksheet showing the method of computation should accompany the contracts. Typically the calculation would involve deducting from the Administrative budget of the "operating" BOCES the salaries and associated costs of personnel whose job responsibilities are definite and unrelated to the service. This leaves such general costs as payroll operations, postage, salaries and related costs of general administrative positions. The percentage relationship between this position of the Administrative budget and the associated parts of the Service budget can then be applied to the specific charges to "outside" districts as their administrative charges.

Excess Salaries

Principle - All of the "using" units (school districts and BOCES) receiving a service should share in the local cost of the "Excess" salaries beyond that allowed for aid ($30,000).

Administrative Procedures

The "operating" BOCES will charge the "outside" users during the year service is rendered at the appropriate rate for the services. The adjustment for "excess" salaries will be accomplished in the following year as a deduction from approved costs in determining aid. The Bureau of State Aid will prorate the deductions among all of the "using" units outside of the operating BOCES. The procedures for supplying the needed information to establish these deductions will be arranged by the Bureau of State Aid in conjunction with the "operating" BOCES.

Contracting for Consultants

There are activities within the BOCES which involve the acquisition of expertise not ordinarily found on a BOCES staff.

The following describes the limitations and guidelines to be used for BOCES aided services which involve contracts for purchasing services from outside agencies.

There are two considerations to examine concerning contractual relationships:

  1. the limitation or exclusions in the law and
  2. the educational advisability of each particular proposal.

Limitations - BOCES is authorized to contract for services with certain specified and other "public agencies and independent colleges." BOCES is also authorized to contract services from arts' providers and environmental education providers.

  1. Each proposed contract needs a decision of whether the provider is approvable and whether the contract involves a "service."
  2. In general
  1. Decisions have defined as "public," colleges, universities, libraries, museums, study councils and certain other non-profit, voluntary organizations. In each case involving a new agency, a decision is needed.
  2. Decisions on "service" have depended on the extent to which the outside purchase constituted the "whole" of the proposed service. If the purchase includes a complete "package," with no BOCES responsibility in the operation, it has not been allowed. If the purchase was a necessary "part" of a BOCES-operated service and was so specialized that "public" sources were not available, it has been allowed.
  3. Educational Advisability - The general principle and intent of the law followed has been that services proposed will be BOCES-operated unless there are compelling reasons otherwise. Decisions on applications have followed the following pattern:

The provision of full time direct instructional services to children should be limited to BOCES and public schools.

Part time, specialized instructional services such as "able and ambitious" may be considered for approval, provided that some organizational arrangements are made for user participation (district or BOCES) in planning and policy-making which affects the instruction. District or BOCES professionals must be responsible for the decisions concerning the teaching of children.

The provision of other instructional-connected services, such as workshops, inservice activities and curriculum development are to be BOCES-conducted. Any exceptions considered must provide that district or BOCES professionals (users) must be responsible for decisions on the scope, sequence, content and method of instruction. "Package" deals for purchase have not been approved. The use of specialists as consultants in a BOCES-developed and operated activity is approvable.

"Consultant" service to school districts as the sole function, included in a proposed service, entirely by contract purchase from outside requires more specific information before a decision can be reached.

    1. The specific purpose needs to be stated: such as: consulting psychiatrist; for "X" subject, or other specialized areas of work. Leadership and supervision of educational affairs should rest with BOCES staff, with few exceptions.
    2. The plan of activities for the school year should be outlined - group to be served, objectives, time schedule and plan of proposed activities.

 Summary

It is expected that BOCES will be the operator of each aided service applied for unless otherwise specifically described on the application.The purchase of packaged services from private agencies is excluded from approval by provisions of law.Acquiring by contract certain specialized consultant services as a part of a BOCES-operated activity may be approved. Educational considerations will be used in the determination for each particular proposal.Approval for the use of consultant services will be reviewed periodically.A critical guide to be considered in any proposal is that the decisions affecting services related to instruction must be in the hands of the responsible professionals from the districts or BOCES served.

Guidelines for Instructional Support Services for Nonpublic Schools

Definitions

Instructional Support Services

The services to be considered under this authorization are those identified in BOCES Administrative Handbook I within Class 3 - "Service Programs In Support of Instruction." These Activities are listed within six Divisions of that Class:

Division 1 - Coordination and Supervision
Division 2 - Pupil Services
Division 3 - Instructional Resources
Division 4 - Staff Development
Division 5 - Curriculum Development
Division 6 - Planning Services

It should be noted that several of the Activities included within Division 2 (Pupil Services) are required for nonpublic pupils as services from the district of school location, chargeable to New York State district of residence. The procedure to obtain and assess costs for these services as authorized under Section 912 of the Education Law will continue as previously developed. BOCES may provide services mandated by Section 912 by request of a school district and not by request of a nonpublic school. The request for any of these same activities by a nonpublic school will be treated as a direct purchase from BOCES and not subject to charge back to a public school district.

In order to be eligible as a service for nonpublic schools, each Activity must be one which is being provided to two or more component districts. When an Activity such as Staff Development (teachers) includes several undertakings, each undertaking must include participation by two or more component districts in order to make it eligible for nonpublic school participation.

When an Activity consists of an itinerant staff position, the sharing requirement applied to component districts will apply.

Eligible Schools

Each nonpublic school is required to meet three qualifications in order to participate. The school must:

  1. Be operated as a recognized non-profit agency;
  2. Provide the instruction meeting the requirements of Section 3204 and Article 17 of the Education Law; and
  3. Be (a) chartered by the Board of Regents, or (b) registered with the Education Department, or (c) subject to examination and inspection by the Education Department.

The following will apply in making the above determinations:

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 A school which is (a) registered (secondary) and/or (b) approved for excess funding for students with disabilities under Article 89 must meet the requirements of Section 3204 and Article 17.

bullet A school which has been determined as equivalent by formal action of the district of location is deemed to meet the requirements of Section 3204 and Article 17.
bullet A school operated by a church which is recognized as tax exempt by the IRS or the New York State Tax Department is deemed to be non-profit.
bullet Instructional programs provided by governmental agencies or subdivisions of the State are not considered to be non-profit schools. BOCES relationships with these are treated in a later section.

Minimum Charges

The charges made for each service to a nonpublic school shall be determined by calculating:

 

bullet A base charge using the existing pricing schedule of unit costs under which the charge shall be no less than that charged for similar service to component districts, and
bullet

A service charge which shall represent the attributable Central Support costs included in the Administrative Budget. The service charge may also include other costs which can be identified as attributable to the provision of the service.

Procedures

Services authorized under Section 1950(4)(z) are to be developed based upon direct requests from nonpublic schools. These requests are to be secured on the same calendar as those secured from component districts for the same services.

It is the intent of this law to provide access to existing activities to improve the instructional program for pupils. Requests from nonpublic schools for an activity or undertaking for use solely by nonpublic schools cannot be honored.

Each nonpublic school requesting a service from a BOCES will file, with its initial request, a statement with specific information to show that it meets the three qualifications for eligibility indicated above. The BOCES will maintain the statement and information on file. Revisions indicating a change in status will be filed by the nonpublic school and maintained on file by BOCES. Inquiries concerning the status of any nonpublic school listed in the annual Education Department publication: Directory of New York State Nonpublic Schools and Administrators, may be addressed to the Office of Nonpublic School Services at (518) 474-3879.

For the purpose of CO-SERs, contracts and subsequent BOCES reports, nonpublic schools will be shown as a user of the approved service being provided. The expenditures, of course, are to be excluded in any calculations to determine State aid to component districts.

Other BOCES Services - Nonpublic and Other Agencies

Exclusive of the services described above as authorized under Section 1950(4)(z), BOCES authority to provide services to nonpublic schools and pupils is limited to the following circumstances:

bullet

Computer Services - Administrative (7710) are authorized for nonpublic schools by Section 1950(4)(h)(4).

bullet Services operated under a grant, to the extent that the conditions of the grant require that services provided to all pupils are to be provided by BOCES.
bullet conditions of the grant require that these items be made available to all pupils in the service area.
bullet Upon the request of a district or school location to provide the Health and Welfare Services to pupils as mandated under Section 912 of the Education Law.
bullet

Under the authorization for dual enrollment (Section 3602-c), pupils enrolled in nonpublic schools may be enrolled in Career and Technical Education classes, gifted education programs and be provided Special Education services at BOCES upon a request from a school district; however, as far as applications, contracts and reports are concerned, there is no need to distinguish between these and any other pupils being provided the same services.

There are instances in which public agencies, State agencies or subdivisions of the State conduct instructional programs for children of public school age. The provision of services to these agencies or to the children in these instructional programs are considered under the authorization of various statutes but not 1950(4)(z). Each separate request and separate activity proposed is considered in accordance with the relevant statute.

 Suspension of Pupils from BOCES Classes

The Office of Counsel has advised as follows:

The District Superintendent of Schools has the authority to suspend a student from BOCES, and that the procedure would be governed by Education Law, Section 3214, including the hearing procedures required for a suspension in excess of five days. These procedures are the same whether the student is of compulsory school age or not.

Where a pupil is enrolled both in classes being offered by the home district and in BOCES classes, the District Superintendent of Schools would have the authority to suspend him/her from the latter, and the appropriate authorities in the school district in which he/she resides would have the authority to suspend him/her from both types of classes.

A BOCES is not a board of education; consequently, the BOCES has no authority to delegate or to exercise the power of suspension provided for in Section 3214.

The board of education of a component district responsible for the tuition of a BOCES student could delegate suspension authority to the principal of a BOCES school under Section 3214(3)(b).

bullet

Summer Activities in BOCES

The following are guidelines for approving instructional activities conducted by BOCES during the summer.

bullet

 In the area of Career and Technical Education for high school students, the past practice of approving extensions of those licensed trade courses which have a minimum hour requirement in order for students to qualify for the licensing examination is acceptable. These are regarded as an extension of the existing courses conducted during the school semester and not as new or different activities.

bullet

Applications to conduct summer activities for students with disabilitities must include sufficient information to indicate that these summer activities are extensions of school year programs. They are to be conducted for the same groups of children enrolled during the school year. These are regarded as extensions for existing groups and are not unit activities subject to summer enrollment for other children.

bullet It is permissible for BOCES to conduct exploratory and enrichment activities for various grade levels during the summer months. The exploratory and enrichment activities are characterized by the fact that their main purpose is to provide experiences not available during the school year for the students who will be enrolled. The courses attempt to provide an expansion of the students' aspirations and knowledge into subject areas and concepts not contained in the usual course of study for the grade levels involved. Under this heading we might, for instance, see junior high school age pupils spending some time in Career and Technical Education shops with the goal of providing career guidance experiences before they choose their high school course of study. We might see middle school pupils exposed to advanced concepts in biology or other sciences, or become involved in an explanation of the various subject areas included in higher education. We might consider performing arts activities for junior high school age students, once again with the goal of career guidance in mind as they begin to choose their high school concentrations and lean toward occupational choices as they mature.

Treatment of Year-end Obligations

In general, encumbrances may be carried forward to the new fiscal year where a valid obligation against funds exists. However, when goods and services are received and utilized, the charge for these services must be assessed against the actual users of the goods and services. The method to be used is described on page 5 of the Uniform System of Accounts for BOCES.

The New York State Department of Audit and Control has agreed that there are two exceptions to this rule. These are:

bullet

Capital equipment purchases

bullet Public works (maintenance) projects

Since these items have an expected period of probable usefulness of more than one year, funds for their purchase may be transferred to the capital fund at year end providing that a valid obligation exists as evidenced by a purchase order to contract.

 

Capital fund accounting is discussed on pages H-1 through H-20 of the manual.

Regional Transportation Planning

In planning for regional transportation:

A BOCES may be involved in bus maintenance or route operation for district children or both. Planning should separate the two so that school districts might choose each or both. If route operation is anticipated, the question of miscellaneous transportation, such as field trips, interscholastic, etc., should also be discussed and considered.

Any BOCES plan for regional transportation must demonstrate that there is an economic advantage to the districts before approval can be expected. The rationale for projecting costs needs to be carefully worked out.

The plans for acquisition and payment for buses should be carefully developed. The matter of possible time payment purchases, purchasing used buses from school districts, and purchasing from private ownership should be given consideration.

The joint use of a maintenance program by BOCES fleet buses, as well as buses for district service, should be considered and plans for accounting for the expenditures and determination of charges worked out.

The policy for determining charges to districts which may delay becoming involved in the service for some years should be considered, inasmuch as the costs for acquiring buses for their benefit may affect districts which enter the service program earlier.

The required records for determining eligibility and ineligibility of pupils and trips for district transportation aid must be worked out with the Management Services Unit. Computerization of planning and record keeping may well be important in order to establish management controls and adequate records.

The policies to be developed for maintaining adequate levels of service to the various districts should be considered in the development of the plan.

Contracts between districts and BOCES will include both the AS-7 BOCES service contract and the typical transportation contract for aid approval.

The transition from existing arrangements to a BOCES operation should be given consideration including school district staff people, equipment, facilities, and acquisition of buses (if needed) on a reasonable calendar in order to assure a sound operation from the beginning.

The matter of contract language including the terms of initial commitment, whether districts can revert to their former status at some point, and the reversion of some buses to districts should they withdraw should also be considered and discussed.