Sixty-five years ago in 1948, the New York state legislature created a law allowing the establishment of Board of Cooperative Education Services (BOCES). These boards would allow school districts to pool their financial resources and hire staff that could be shared. The new law also provided substaintial state subsidies to further cut the costs to the individual school districts participating in the shared services.
As this law was being formulated in Albany, Elwin S. Shoemaker, superintendent of Oneida #1 Supervisory District, which included New Hartford, New York Mills, Chadwicks, Oriskany and Whitesboro schools, was already researching the feasibility of shared services within his region. By the end of 1947, a study revealed a willingness to cooperate among each other and suggested areas of potential shared services that could benefit from the new legislation.
In May, a letter was sent to all five schools' boards of education members, school trustees and school directors to attend a meeting at the Whitesboro Central School library on June 2, 1948, to vote on the creation of BOCES. The petition to create a BOCES was successful and OHM BOCES became one of the first four BOCES created in the state.
In the fall of 1948, this newly formed organization had nine shared service employees and a budget of $33,862.50.