Schenevus-Worcester merger to go to public vote

On Tuesday, the Boards of Education of the Schenevus and Worcester central school districts each unanimously approved putting the proposed annexation merger between the school districts to a public vote in the fall. 

“We are grateful to our board members for giving the community the opportunity to weigh in on this issue,” Worcester CSD Superintendent Tim Gonzales said. 

The board’s decision on Tuesday was a required step in the process of merging districts under state education law.  A “straw vote,” or advisory referendum, is the next step in the process as outlined by the state. The straw vote will be conducted in each district on Sept. 22. 

If a majority of the voters in both communities approve the straw vote, the Commissioner of Education will then formally lay out the merged school district and call for a formal referendum. A tentative date of Dec. 3 has been set for that vote. 

Should the voters from both school districts approve the merger in the formal referendum, the merger of the two school districts would be approved. However, if the merger vote does not receive majority voter approval in each district, the merger vote fails and the two school districts remain in their current status. 

The districts also plan to prepare a public referendum to allow the public to vote in December on whether to enlarge the existing Worcester Board of Education from its present five members to seven members. If successful, such a referendum would allow residents of the merged district to run for three seats (two new seats, as well as one expiring term) on the Worcester board for terms beginning July 1, 2022. 

“It’s important that we give Schenevus residents an opportunity to be part of the leadership of the merged district. One way they can do this is by sitting on the board of the merged district,” Superintendent  Carlin said.

More information about the proposed merger can be found at