In 2019, the Wyoming Legislature commissioned the Wyoming Government Savings and Efficiency Project Final Report. The report recommended examining the Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) and Boards of Cooperative Higher Education Services (BOCHES) programs and considering possible changes to them. In response to this need, the Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) and the Region 11 Comprehensive Center (R11CC) have partnered to work on aligning educational support systems in Wyoming. A diverse WDE project team, including representatives from BOCES and (BOCHES), meets monthly to guide the work. The project team also includes a Wyoming legislator, the president of the Association of Cooperative Education programs, a member of the Wyoming School Boards Association, the executive director of the Wyoming School Administrators Association, WDE staff, a member of the Western States Equity Center, and a project co-leader from the American Institutes for Research.
The project team is studying the BOCES and BOCHES programs, conducting needs-sensing with districts and educators, and conducting a national scan of shared service center models. This project will help WDE staff and educators develop and recommend changes to state BOCES and BOCHES programs (commonly referred to as regional shared service centers). To date, the team has conducted focus group sessions with district superintendents and BOCES and BOCHES directors to determine existing and needed programs and services. The project team selected four states that have shared service centers that may provide useful information about their operations, programs, and services to inform final recommendations, including Alaska, Colorado, Montana, and South Dakota. Project staff have completed interviews with directors and a draft summary has been shared with the WDE project team. The project team is currently developing recommendations to submit to Jillian Balow, State Superintendent of Public Instruction.