Pioneer Valley Regional School District sees large enrollment drop over last 10 years

Franklin County

The Pioneer Valley Regional School District has seen enrollment drop by nearly 300 students over the past decade.

With declining enrollment, comes financial struggle and for the Pioneer Valley Regional School District, that includes transportation and special education costs.

The Pioneer Valley Regional School District, which spans four Franklin County towns consisting of Bernardston, Leyden, Northfield, and Warwick has a total enrollment of 754 students. The district had a deficit of more than $543,000 in fiscal 2018.

One Northfield resident told 22News, there are fewer children now than there were 50 years ago. When children didn’t return home after college to raise their own families in town.

Last November, Governor Baker allowed the district to borrow up to $2 million dollars to fund deficits. Baker’s fiscal 2020 budget proposal would provide grants to rural school districts, like the Pioneer Valley Regional School District, where declining enrollments can create a budget crisis.

Pittsfield State Senator Adam Hinds filed a bill that would amend the funding formula to consider rural location as a factor in calculating aid.

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