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Park, School Violence Prompts Response From Pittsfield Officials

City officials are looking to address ongoing issues of violence in schools and parks. Mayor Linda Tyer, Police Chief Michael Wynn, Superintendent Jason McCandless, and District Attorney Andrea Harrington released a joint statement on Friday addressing the growing concern over the incidents.

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McCandless Asks 5.7 Percent Increase for Pittsfield Schools

Superintendent Jason McCandless is asking for a $3.4 million increase to the school's budget. The large 5.7 percent increase comes as Gov. Charlie Baker has proposed a budget that gives the city $3.7 million more in Chapter 70 state aid for schools. The request comes with a number of new initiatives and positions which McCandless said will bolster specific areas the district has identified as problematic areas.

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Pittsfield Schools Considering Future Consolidations

The most recent high water mark for enrollment in the Pittsfield Public Schools was 7,000 students in 1996. That number is down to 5,491. Schools like Morningside had 658 students then and now have just 374. Conte had 540 and now has 367. Reid Middle School had 803 students compared to 552 today.

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Pittsfield Schools Shift Bus Payment Back to City, Reduces Budget

The final payment for the school bus fleet is moving to the city's side of the budget. At the public hearing on the School Department's proposed budget Wednesday, Superintendent Jason McCandless said the $558,469 payment is being pulled from the budget request.

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Pittsfield Schools Propose $61.6 Million Fiscal 2019 Budget

The School Committee has put forth a $61,671,338 proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The request is a 1.6 percent increase over last year's budget for a total increase of $985,000.

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New School Year Starting in Pittsfield

Wednesday marks another year for the Pittsfield School Department. Teachers have already returned to classrooms ahead of time but Wednesday morning teacher, local officials, and members of the Police and Fire Departments will stand outside of the city's elementary and middle schools, rolling out the red carpet for the students who will enter the doors. The following day, the high schoolers return bringing enrollment up to more than 5,500 throughout 12 city schools.

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State Budget Includes $50K to Keep Preschool at Conte, Morningside

The School Department was close to closing all of its preschool classes at Morningside and Conte Community School, two schools that need it the most. But, between state legislators and the union, there will at least be a few. The state budget includes $50,000 to help fund those programs.

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