Jeff Tech Operating Committee approves 2023-2024 budget
The Jeff Tech Operating Committee met in regular session April 24 and approved the school’s 2023-2024 budget.
The budget totals $11,707,990. It includes the secondary and career and technical programs, facility costs, debt service, practical nursing, adult programs, and grant expenditures. The new budget shows a 2.24% increase over the 2022-2023 budget. The proposal will be sent to the four sending districts, DuBois, Brockway, Punxsutawney, and Brookville, for approval.
In the video presentation to the committee, School Director Dr. Barry Fillman and Business manager Sherry Hasselman noted that $710,000 has been budgeted for the Farm to Refrigerator Project. That project will be funded by a federal grant totaling $1,125,000 and a state matching grant of $1,100,00.
Bids are being prepared for the project. It is hoped construction will begin in the spring of next year.
Dr. Fillman said the meat processing training will benefit adult learners as well as students in the culinary arts program. He also said there are plans to offer short programs to the community, including teaching hunters how to process their own meat.
Hasselman told the committee that it would need to approve a Capital Project Resolution to begin the Farm to Refrigerator Project. She said Jeff Tech will need to borrow money to fund the project while awaiting grant reimbursements.
“These funds will come from our adult programs and adult fund balance, and not through district contributions,” she stated during the budget presentation.
The committee approved that resolution later in the meeting. It will also be sent to the four sending districts for approval.
During the presentation, it was noted that enrollment at Jeff Tech has gone up 66% since 2017. That year there were 361 students. This year, so far, 602 students have applied according to Jeff Tech Principal Melissa Mowrey. She added that additional applications are still being assessed.
Dr. Fillman said part of the “driving force” behind this increase is access to technical areas that have drawn student interest. These programs include diesel mechanics, welding, HVAC, engineering and others. A new program, electrical construction, will begin this school year.
Jeff Tech has also shown a dramatic increase in the number of students being placed in cooperative education (co-op) programs with businesses and industries in the area. In March of last year, 31 students were participating in the co-op program. In March of this year, there were 63.
May will be a busy month for Jeff Tech, with the prom set for May 6, a Remake Learning Days program on May 8 from 4pm-6pm (see the attached flyer below), and an “Anything with Wheels Show” on May 11 as well as the academic awards program that night. The last day of school is May 26. Graduation will be held outside that night at 7 pm, weather permitting.