ROSCOE — The merger of Livingston Manor and Roscoe central schools will go to a public vote later this month. That was the unanimous decision of both districts’ boards of education Tuesday evening.
The two districts entered into a merger study at the end of 2021. The study was conducted by consultants Castallo & Silky LLC in the first half of 2022. An 18-member Advisory Committee of employees, residents and students from both school districts met with the consultants throughout the process. The study was presented to the boards of education on Sept. 12. Copies of the study are available on both districts’ websites and in both district offices. The study contains information about the two districts’ finances, programs, transportation services, enrollment figures and staffing, and outlines what could be possible in a merged district.
Tuesday’s school board decision sets up an advisory referendum, or “straw poll,” as the next step in the merger process. This non-binding vote is required by the state Department of Education to determine if there is public support for the merger.
Eligible voters in both school districts can cast ballots in the advisory referendum from 10 a.m.to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26, the new gym of each district. If a majority of voters in each district approve the merger proposal, the process will move to a second, binding vote, scheduled for Dec. 14. If a majority of voters in either district votes “no” on the proposal, the merger process will end without moving forward any further. If the merger is approved, the new district will begin operations on July 1, 2023.
A mailer with more information about the merger will go out to households in both school districts later this month. Information is also available on the Merger pages of both districts’ websites.