Jeff Tech Operating Committee hears from students; reviews budget for next year

Students show Jeff tech Operating Committee members the work they completed on the school’s new bus to get it road ready.

The Jefferson County-DuBois Vocational-Technical School (Jeff Tech) operating committee met on February 25, and the meeting was in an unusual place—the auto body shop.

Before the regular agenda, students from the Collision Repair Shop, headed by Mrs. Pam Kerr, and the Welding Shop, headed by Mr. Thomas Weaver, made a presentation to the committee about what they are doing in their programs. The two shops have combined to work on a bus that was purchased for use at Jeff Tech. When it was purchased, the bus could not be inspected. However, Jeff Tech Director Barry Fillman said that’s what he wanted. He said he knew “our students would be able to solve that problem.”

Combining their skills, the students have made numerous repairs to the bus, which will be used to shuttle Jeff tech students from the main building to the Diesel Shop on the hill above the school. Director Fillman said this will save money since the school is using a contracted bus service right now.

Students participating in the Cooperative Education Program (co-op) at the school also made a presentation to the committee outlining what they do at their co-op employment. The students attend the school part of the day and then work at their jobs in businesses around the area.

The presentations were part of the Career Tech Education Month celebration at Jeff Tech. The next event will be Thursday, February 28, from noon-2:30 p.m. The school will host a career fair where more than 60 businesses and industries will be represented.

Tentative Budget

Business Manager Sherry Hasselman outlined the school’s 2019-2020 budget, at least the portion that’s been completed to this point. The amounts from the sending school districts were presented. Brockway’s portion totals $526, 745.00, which is 1.822 percent lower than last year. Brookville’s total is $941,754.00, a 5.096 percent increase.

The Punxsutawney and DuBois sending districts have a larger portion of the overall budget, but their totals also decreased from last year. Punxsutawney’s share is $1.34 million, a 5.102 percent decrease from the previous year. DuBois saw a 3.719 percent decrease with their budget set at $2.6 million.

The school’s overall budget proposal for next year is also down 2.473 percent. Hasselman said that was because of decreases in payments and salaries due to retirements.

The final budget figure will be presented for approval at the March regular meeting. It will include additional information from grants and other sources of income.

Grant received; tuition set

Jeff Tech has received a Food Service Competitive Equipment Grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Education totaling $23,380.00. The money will be used for a deck oven for the school’s Food Service program.

Tuition for three adult education programs will remain the same for next year while one program, Practical Nursing, will see an increase of $500.00. Some discussion as given about possibly connecting the schools program to a college, which would allow the Jeff Tech students to receive college credit. Director Fillman will investigate the possibility and report back to the committee later.

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