Service, learning and excellence: Working together to achieve

Questar III, like all BOCES, was formed to meet the needs of its member school districts.

Shared programs and services
BOCES services are created when two or more school 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.

BOCES are an extension of local school districts and not meant to supplant any district program. Each BOCES reflects the needs of its component school districts and is, therefore, different from another BOCES.

A large percentage of BOCES 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, alternative education and workforce preparation for adults. Instructional support offers professional development, library services and related programs for teachers and administrators.

Questar III also provides opportunities for districts to save money through financial services such as cooperative purchasing and business office support.

Value to Taxpayers

BOCES help to relieve some of the financial burdens increasingly placed on local taxpayers. With BOCES as a catalyst, school 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.

BOCES provides services, facilities and staff to meet mutual needs of local districts by operating educational programs on a regional, cooperative basis.

School 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, school 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.

BOCES was created in 1948 when the New York State Legislature passed the Intermediate School District Act and was later written into the Education Law in 1950 and 1951. Read more about Questar III's milestones...

Like local school districts, BOCES is governed by a board of education. Questar III’s board is comprised of representatives from Rensselaer, Columbia and Greene counties who oversee programs, services, finances and policies. Questar III board members are elected by component school districts’ boards of education in April.

Working together to achieve
School districts statewide depend on Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) to meet their educational and financial needs. The BOCES model provides accountability, municipal sharing, efficiency and equity.

With BOCES as a catalyst, school districts develop shared programs that serve children from all districts regardless of enrollment, income or size of tax base. By focusing on collaboration and cost containment, BOCES help to relieve some of the financial burdens increasingly placed on local taxpayers.

Questar III, the BOCES for Rensselaer, Columbia and Greene counties, is one of 37 BOCES in New York State. It provides programs and services to 23 public school districts within the three counties and more than 640 school districts in New York State.

There are 37 BOCES in New York State, to view the statewide website please visit