2012-01-11 / Front Page / Schools

BOCES project approved by Garrison board

Garrison joins Haldane in support
ANNIE CHESNUT
At the Garrison School Board meeting last week, a unanimous vote of the trustees made Garrison the second district in western Putnam County to support the Putnam Northern Westchester Board of Cooperative Educational Services’ capital spending proposal.
 
BOCES is hoping for 18 separate school boards in Putnam and Westchester counties to approve an $18-plus million request for funding so that capital repair projects can be completed and business can continue as usual at the two BOCES campuses in Yorktown Heights.
 
Haldane has already voted in favor of the BOCES capital project. Garrison tabled its initial vote on December 21 and Putnam Valley will decide on January 26. In the interim, other stakeholder districts across northern Westchester and Putnam are also voting.
 
The $18,150,000 net cost of the project has been broken up into individual segments that relate to the property wealth of the districts and their average daily attendance. The component portions range from just over $2 million for Bedford Central to $524,785 for Putnam Valley, $290,367 for Haldane, and $191,819 for Garrison—the smallest in the BOCES service area. Business Manager Susan Huetter has arranged for the minimal amount of impact on individual taxpayers.
 
Right now, when “consolidation of services” is a hot political buzzword, BOCES has already set the standard for consolidation. It offers services to both districts and their students: career & technical education, special education, guidance and child study services, curriculum and instructional services, management services, and adult & continuing education, including a General Education Degree and English as a Second Language programs.
 
The Garrison trustees were careful in their consideration of the BOCES request, as all districts must be in these difficult financial times. During the early discussion in December, several members of the board expressed serious doubts, both about the work to be done, and about the role of BOCES itself. But last week, with trustees Christine Foertsch and Charlotte Rowe having taken a tour of the facility with Superintendent Gloria Colucci, they became two of the most outspoken advocates for the project and the programs BOCES provides.
 

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