Schenevus and Worcester School Districts Considering Merger
The Schenevus and Worcester Central School Districts are looking at a possible merger and have applied for a state grant to study all the impacts of combining. Schenevus has roughly 360 students, and Worcester’s has about 330. The districts expect to hear about a decision on the grant in December or January.
Below is a statement by Schenevus' Superintendent Theresa Carlin:
"One of the options the Board of Education is investigating is a merger with Worcester Central School. This option is very favorable for our district as it allows us to continue to operate with all of our students in one district. There is a great deal of merger aid available from the state in the form of both foundation and building aid. The other option being investigated is a tuitioning out of 7-12 students to one or more other local districts. This option has been put on the back burner until the merger option is fully investigated.
As you may know, the Schenevus and Worcester Central School Districts have been discussing opportunities to collaborate, share services and save costs, including the possibility of a merger. As these conversations continue, our priority is to keep you informed along each step of the way.
On July 24, Schenevus and Worcester board members heard a presentation from consultant Alan Pole, who described how the merger process works. The first step in the process is to conduct a merger study. The estimated cost of such a study is about $50,000.
Schenevus and Worcester have conducted a merger study before, most recently in 1996. (Several years ago, the districts also applied for, but did not receive, grant funding to pay for a study.)
Schenevus and Worcester Central Schools have applied jointly for a $25,000 grant to help fund a merger study. A decision is expected in December or January. If the grant is not awarded, neither district has committed to taking on the full cost of the study. It is not out of the question, but no commitment has been made at this point if the grant is not given.
While we still do not know if this is the route our two districts will pursue, we do know that the merger process typically takes 1-2 years. Both boards and a majority of voters would have to approve a merger before seeking approval from the state Education Commissioner. If approved at the state level, a second public vote would be conducted. A majority of voters in both districts would have to approve the merger for it to be finalized. A merger study is just that, a study, it does not mean it will lead to a guaranteed merger in the end."