Help Maintain & Expand BOCES and CTE Programs!
ACTION TYPE: Email State Legislators
BOCES, CTE and Big 5 School Districts
As a constituent who cares deeply about public education, I urge you to support the passage of S.919 (Mayer)/A.5190 (Benedetto), which will maintain and expand high-quality BOCES programs, including Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs throughout the state.
BOCES allow school districts to combine their resources to create cost efficiencies and provide students the education to which they are entitled. Rural school districts often see the greatest benefit from the economies of scale that BOCES provide. Some districts have chosen to not be a member of BOCES ― these are called non-component school districts. BOCES is not available to the Big 5 city school districts of New York City, Buffalo, Rochester, Yonkers and Syracuse.
CTE programs provide a learning environment that can lead to a rigorous career-aligned learning experience. Students who graduate from these programs are prepared to pursue a four-year college degree or immediately enter the workforce. These programs must remain current and relevant as workforce and economic trends change and businesses continue to demand knowledgeable and prepared workers. For several years, we have seen statewide increases in the number of students enrolled in CTE programs. We must continue to expand access to critical BOCES programs, including CTE throughout the Big 5 school districts. For many students, CTE offers the most promising pathway to career success.
The current aid formula for BOCES programs, including CTE has not changed since 1990, and the state only provides aid for the first $30,000 of a BOCES instructor’s salary. The statewide average CTE educator salary is $67,000. This outdated formula forces component districts to choose between absorbing the difference in cost ― which leaves the financial burden to local property taxpayers ― or limiting access to the programs BOCES could offer to students.
Special services aid for Big 5 school districts and other non-component districts is capped at $3,900 per student. However, this funding currently excludes students in ninth grade. Special services aid should be increased, and cover students in ninth grade ― putting them on par with BOCES component districts that receive state aid for similar programs in ninth grade.
All these factors have the effect of reducing state support for CTE programs and shifting the costs of these vital programs to local schools, resulting in the underinvestment of high-quality programs that provide students with the skills employers demand.
Accordingly, I urge you to pass S.919 (Mayer)/A.5190 (Benedetto) to maintain and expand and high-quality programs such as CTE and include ninth grade in special services aid funding.
Thank you for your consideration of these important issues. I respectfully ask that you bring up these issues with your conference and I would greatly appreciate a response to this letter.
(c) 2022 NYSUT
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