BOCES Superintendent visits Gowanda board



OBSERVER Staff Writer

GOWANDA – BOCES Superintendent David O’Rourke attended the Gowanda Board of Education meeting. He gave a presentation on how BOCES can be useful to Gowanda and other districts, as well as some history on the district superintendent position.

“Originally when the district superintendency was established in the 1920s, the laws that built the district superintendency required the district superintendent to walk physically the borders and boundaries of all the component districts … and the reason for that one of the small responsibilities of the district superintendent is to resolve boundary issues between districts,” O’Rourke said.

Since BOCES serves 27 school districts in Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Erie counties and serves 43,000 students, walking the borderline would prove to be difficult for O’Rourke. He said it has taken him almost a year to visit with each of the districts.

“We serve many of them in our instructional programs. The public often knows us for special education and career technical education,” he said.

In addition to serving students, BOCES can supply printing and legal services, among others, to component districts. O’Rourke also passed out surveys for board members to fill out. The surveys were to find out what BOCES is doing well for the district and what BOCES could do additionally to support the district, O’Rourke said. Results from the surveys, which have been distributed to all districts, will be made available later in the year.

O’Rourke also spoke on the budget for the upcoming year. He said there will be no increase for BOCES’ administrative budget. At the end of the year, any money that is left over in the BOCES general fund has to be returned to individual districts. The visit to Gowanda was one of many that O’Rourke has made over the previous year to all the component districts in the BOCES area.

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