DASD school board gets first look at 2023-24 Budget by Glenn Schuckers

Much of the work session of the DuBois Area School Board was devoted to the presentation of the upcoming 2023 -24 budget.

The proposed budget was presented by District Business Manager Jeanette Buriak. The  proposed budget shows expenses for the coming school year at approximately $67 million dollars compared to the $65 million the District will spend in the 2022-23 school year. Despite the increase, Buriak said the budget will probably not require any tax increase in the coming year. 

The budget, which relies heavily on the state contribution, will not be presented for its final adoption until May, 2023, after the Commonwealth’s budget is presented by Governor Shapiro in March. The new budget will include some $33 million from the state and some $7million of federal funding.

The DuBois Area School District has a history of operating without raising taxes and of  operating within its budget, and Buriak said she expects that to continue in the coming year. Some property growth and reassessments traditionally have allowed the district to meet student needs without additional money from property taxes which represent the bulk of the $27 million in local funding.  There may be readjustments in the budget as state and federal funding are announced before the May vote to adopt a plan.

Prior to the discussion of the budget the directors heard a presentation about the School’s newly formed Esport Team. The team was initiated during this school year to allow students to compete in electronic game playing and has become a popular addition at the high school.

There are some 37 students on the team now as coach Todd Shindledecker explained that the number of students varies since many of the players are also involved in other school activities and sports. He added that the popularity of the team has been increasing as it becomes more visible to the student body. He also mentioned that while the school was hosting the recent District Band Festival, many students from other schools in the area stopped by to watch the team and said they wished their school would include something like  what DuBois has. 

During some discussion of the Use of Facilities portion of the agenda directors questioned how long the District will be able to continue to offer many of its facilities to the community free of charge.  Currently some activities levy a charge for custodial expenses but in the face of rising costs for supplies and utilities the current system may need to be adjusted.

Superintendent Wendy Benton said they will continue to evaluate the activities but feel the community should be able to use facilities when possible without placing a burden on taxpayers, and they will make decisions on a case by case basis.


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