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Pittsfield To Lay Off Over 140 School Dept. Employees

The Pittsfield city seal
The City of Pittsfield, Massachusetts
City of Pittsfield

The Pittsfield Public Schools will be laying off at least 140 employees as it anticipates a sharp cut in state funding.

Superintendent of Schools Jake McCandless says almost 70% of the school department’s $65 million budget comes from state funding – funding now in flux due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are planning for a significant Chapter 70 reduction," said McCandless. "We are expecting that the state will do what the state knows it needs to do and support at least level funding for Chapter 70. But the statement that we are issuing this broad-based layoff and non-renewal notices because it’s the responsible thing to do when we do expect reductions is absolutely a true statement.”

The final confirmation on state education funding for Pittsfield will come when Massachusetts establishes its 2021 budget this summer.

Josh Landes has been WAMC's Berkshire Bureau Chief since February 2018, following stints at WBGO Newark and WFMU East Orange. A passionate advocate for Western Massachusetts, Landes was raised in Pittsfield and attended Hampshire College in Amherst, receiving his bachelor's in Ethnomusicology and Radio Production. His free time is spent with his cat Harry, experimental electronic music, and exploring the woods.
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