UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – Residents of both Schenevus Central School District and Worcester have voted in favor of the school merger. Both school districts held their straw vote yesterday which is a preliminary to the official referendum held by the state board of education.
“It’s kind of like a I guess a precursor to the final referendum where the commissioner wants to make sure the communities are really on board before they get involved.” – Tim Gonzales, Superintendent of Worcester Central Schools
Vote totals in Schenevus were 339 in favor and 223 opposed, and 327 in favor and 140 opposed in Worcester. In-order-for the merger process to move forward both communities had to vote in favor. Now the final referendum will be held in December in both districts. This process has been years in the making, taking off in July of 2019. Due to Schenevus’ financial situation the merger is desperately needed for the district to continue.
“Because of our financial situation we’re in a little bit more of a dire situation in that we’re not going to survive very long maintaining the program that we currently have. Could we survive longer if we made additional cuts? Probably, but those are not the things we want to do as Tim just mentioned. This is about kids and opportunities for kids and every time you cut something out of their day, you’re taking away from them.” – Theresa Carlin, Superintendent of Schenevus Central Schools
Schenevus records show this is at least the fifth time a merger has been proposed between the districts. Merger studies also occurred in 1974, 1982, 1989 and 1996. Both Carlin and Gonzales believe the merger is best for the kids in both their districts.
“Really at the end of the day it’s looking at what programing and what extracurriculars and sports and things that we don’t offer now that we could offer by putting the two districts together. I think that’s really the fundamental piece for us.” – Tim Gonzales, Superintendent of Worcester Central Schools