We at The Evening Sun played a little April Fool’s joke on our website today. While most of our readers found it entertaining, it seems to have ruffled quite a few feathers as well. Jeff took it down before it incited any more riots. But, seriously, folks. Lighten up a bit. It is April Fool’s Day after all. (And I don’t see how anyone could possibly read the piece in its entirety and still think it was true.)
I’ve included it below for your reading enjoyment. Happy April Fool’s Day!
Those of you without a sense of humor might want to stop reading….NOW.
Follow me on Twitter … @evesunmelissa.
School’s out: Gov orders Chenango schools to merge
By Melissa Stagnaro
Sun Staff Writer
ALBANY – In one fell swoop, New York’s governor has wiped all nine of Chenango’s public school districts off the map.
Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order early this morning which will abolish each of Chenango’s individual school districts and create one consolidated county district in its place.
The surprise move has school officials reeling.
“What the &**&#@ does he think he’s doing?” exclaimed Norwich Superintendent Gerard O’Sullivan, after hearing the news.
“Is he out of his &*^^%$* mind?” asked his counterpart at Oxford, Randy Squier.
Unadilla Valley Superintendent Robert Mackey concurred.
“*&$#% &^%$$,” he said, adding that the unilateral decision by the governor is completely unprecedented.
According to Cuomo’s directive, the countywide school system will be known as the Afton/Bainbridge-Guilford/Gilbertsville-Mt. Upton/Greene/Norwich/Otselic Valley/Oxford/Sherburne-Earlville/Unadilla Valley Unified School District. Or, ABGGMGNOVOSEUVUSD, for short.
Its mascot, the Guinea pig, will be clad in the school color – a dull excrement-like brown which represents an amalgamation of maroon, white, red, black, blue, purple, green, yellow and gold. According to Cuomo, this is in homage to the rich history of the nine districts he is rubbing out.
The governor has set aside $300 million in state funds for the construction of a single facility to accommodate the consolidated district’s almost 10,000 students.
Students will need to be bussed from all corners of the district’s more than 900 square mile footprint. A spokesman for the State Education Department officials estimated that most students will spend no more than 2 to 3 hours on a bus each day.
“What, do you think that’s too much?” he asked, adding that the decision was above his pay grade.
One hundred administrators and 1,000 teachers will be required to run the facility – a significant increase over the number currently employed by each of the 9 districts. A tentative budget for the unified district is double the combined current spending of all Chenango’s school systems.
“I know it seems excessive,” the spokesperson admitted, “but don’t look at me. I’m just the yes man.”
Cuomo has not stated his intentions for the 26 school buildings currently in use. However, a source inside his office reported that $92 million has already been earmarked for their demolition, despite the fact that the vast majority have recently undergone multi-million capital improvement projects.
“He doesn’t give a rat’s ^%$#. He’s bat &^% crazy,” said the source, who spoke with The Evening Sun only after being promised anonymity.