Questar III, like all BOCES, was formed to meet the needs of its member school districts. Established in 1977, the organization serves 23 school districts in Rensselaer, Columbia and Greene counties (and more than 650 districts across the state).
Our mission is to expand educational opportunities to students of all ages, abilities and interests and to provide access to cost-effective and innovative support services.
Shared programs and services
Our services are created when two or more districts have similar needs that can be met by a shared program. Sharing is an economical way for districts to offer programs they otherwise might not be able to afford.
Questar III is an extension of local school districts and not meant to supplant any district program. Each BOCES reflects the needs of its component districts and is, therefore, different from another BOCES.
A large percentage of our programs are instructional; other programs and services support districts in these operations. Programs and services may vary greatly—not only from BOCES to BOCES but from year to year.
Program offerings include career and technical education, special education and adult education and workforce preparation. Instructional support offers school improvement and related programs for teachers and administrators.
Questar III also provides opportunities for districts to save money through services such as cooperative purchasing, business office support, health and safety, IT and communications.
Value to taxpayers
BOCES help to relieve some of the financial burdens placed on local taxpayers. With BOCES as a catalyst, districts are creative in developing shared programs that serve children and promote equality among all districts regardless of enrollment, income or size of tax base.
Member districts receive funds from the state, called BOCES aid, for the shared services purchased the previous year. The aid is distributed directly to individual districts. The amount paid back is based on a formula that takes into account each district’s financial resources. The aid formula for Questar III component districts range from 36 to 78 percent.
By utilizing BOCES, districts become immediately connected to a vast network of education and industry professionals. This ensures support with regional knowledge in addition to a concern for localized goals. The collaborations BOCES initiate help to close gaps in student achievement.
Like local districts, BOCES is governed by a board of education. Questar III’s board is comprised of representatives from Rensselaer, Columbia and Greene counties. Questar III board members are elected by component districts’ boards of education in April.