NEW YORK STATE Higher pay cap for BOCES chiefs awaits ac­tion

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Wil­liam J. Kem­ble [email protected]­manon­

The lead­ers of 37 BOCES district across New York state are wait­ing for word about whether state leg­is­la­tion al­low­ing higher max­i­mum pay for BOCES su­per­in­ten­dents will be sent to the gov­er­nor for ap­proval or get lost in the Al­bany abyss.

The leg­is­la­tion was ap­proved 130-0 by the state As­sem­bly on May 31 and 61-0 by the state Se­nate on June 7, but it has not been de­liv­ered to Gov. An­drew Cuomo, ac­cord­ing to Ul­ster BOCES Su­per­in­ten­dent Charles Khoury.

Khoury, speak­ing at an On­te­ora school board meet­ing this week, said the salaries might be­come part of fu­ture stud­ies about ex­ec­u­tive-level pay for pub­lic of­fi­cials in the state.

“There is a com­mis­sion that is look­ing at the salary cap that ap­plied to leg­is­la­tors that’s been in ef­fect since 1998,” he said. “That com­mis­sion has been charged with look­ing at a leg­isla­tive salary cap as well as ex­ec­u­tive branch salary cap. They’re sup­posed to is­sue a re­port on Dec. 10.”

Khoury said state law­mak­ers ap­par­ently are wait­ing for the re­port be­fore ask­ing Cuomo to sign the BOCES salary leg­is­la­tion.

If the bill does go to Cuomo, it would have to be signed be­fore the end of the month to be in ef­fect for 2019. If he ve­toes the bill, it will be dead for the time be­ing be­cause the state Leg­is­la­ture has no plans to re­con­vene this year and there­fore could not vote to over­ride the veto.

The cur­rent salary cap for BOCES su­per­in­ten­dents in New York is $166,752 per year. It was de­signed to keep BOCES su­per­in­ten­dents from earn­ing more than the $170,155 paid to the state ed­u­ca­tion com­mis­sioner 15 years ago.

The new cap passed by the Leg­is­la­ture would be 98 per­cent of the state ed­u­ca­tion com­mis­sioner’s 2018-19 salary, which is $250,000. And an­nual in­creases could not ex­ceed 6 per­cent of a BOCES su­per­in­ten­dent’s cur­rent salary.

Dutchess County BOCES Su­per­in­ten­dent Richard Hoo­ley said by phone this week that the new salary cap be­ing ap­proved unan­i­mously by state law­mak­ers was a recog­ni­tion of how im­por­tant BOCES ser­vices are for in­di­vid­ual school dis­tricts.

“We can as­sist and sup­port school dis­tricts in a way that the state Ed­u­ca­tion Depart­ment couldn’t, but if I re­tire, it is go­ing to be hard to find some­one who [will] ... work for that salary when they can stay in a school district and do bet­ter than the salary of the [BOCES] su­per­in­ten­dent,” Hoo­ley said.

In Ul­ster County, school district su­per­in­ten­dent salaries range from $170,000 in On­te­ora to $204,000 in Kingston.

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