Schenevus School District Voters Slam The Door on Worcester Merger: Now What?
Back in late September, a straw vote was held on Schenevus Central School District becoming part of the Worcester Central School District with an opportunity to say "yes" or "no" to both districts merging according to The Schenevus Central School District website. The merger passed in both school districts with Schenevus voters voting 339 to 223 to merge and in Worcester is was a 327 to 140 vote in favor of it. At that point in time, it had been a long process to get to that vote with careful planning and studies involved.
Following that straw vote, yesterday there was another vote in both school districts on the annexation merger. According to the Schenevus Central School District website, despite a majority "yes" vote from Worcester district residents (298-162), Schenevus voters shot down the merger by a vote of 509 to 254. This was the final vote for the merger, a process that began over two years ago. A majority "yes" vote would have needed to take place for the two districts to combine under the leadership of the Worcester CSD board and superintendent.
What's next? Schenevus residents will have another opportunity to vote on the merger after a year has passed if the Schenevus Board of Education chooses to allow it. If a re-vote were to take place and was again a majority "no" vote, then the decision would be final on the option of merging the two districts.
What's next for Schenevus as they attempt to keep the district viable? Residents could face higher taxes to keep the school afloat and the worst-case scenario seems to be that the district would have to dissolve if it's not sufficiently financially supported and all students would be absorbed by other area districts. It seems to be a risk that Schenevus residents are willing to take to hang onto their autonomy.
To follow the next steps for the Schenevus Central School District visit, schenevuscsd.org.