The merging of the Candor and Spencer-Van Etten school districts will either move forward or be rejected after a straw vote today. Each district will be holding the vote to determine the public’s opinion on the merger. If both districts approve the proposal, the final referendum vote will be held on February 6th, but if the vote fails in either district today, there will be no merger. School officials say Candor and S-VE are strong candidates for consolidation due to the similarities between the districts, including similar test scores, wealth ratios, free- and reduced-lunch counts, and tax rates. The current plan would call for the high school to be located at S-VE’s current high school, and Candor’s current junior/senior high school would serve as a combined middle school for the 6th through 8th graders. Both districts would keep their elementary schools. The combined district would receive $29.8 million in operating aid over a 14-year period for the merger. Residents in both districts would see a reduction in the tax rate on property value in the merger’s first year. The state could also force a merger in the future without offering any incentive aid at all. Voting will take place from noon to nine o’clock today at each district.