PHOENIXVILLE — After two years of talks, Phoenixville Area High School will have a junior ROTC program for the 2014-15 school year.
Superintendent Alan Fegley announced at the June 26 school board meeting that the Air Force is ready to begin a program in the Phoenixville School District.
“It is an outstanding leadership program,” Fegley said. “I believe it will benefit a group of students that need additional structure.”
The decision appeared to be last minute. Fegley said the Air Force called June 1, after Phoenixville approved its final budget for 2014-15.
“I kept pushing it throughout the budget season: ‘Can you do this? Can you do this?’” Fegley said. “June 1 rolls around and they call up and say they can start an Air Force junior ROTC program this year.”
As such, the $35,000 necessary from the district for the program in 2014-15 will need to come from reserve funds built into the budget. That will pay for two Air Force employees to work on the program. The rest of the necessary money will come from the Air Force.
Students can begin the program as freshmen but can join up after that if they choose, Fegley said.
Government sequestration killed any plans the district had for starting a program for the 2013-14 school year.
“It had to be pulled,” Fegley said.
Although the Air Force indicated that it hoped to begin the program in September, Fegley said it’s unlikely the district will have the necessary resources in place by then. However, he believes that the program can be “ready to roll” in the second semester of 2014-15.
The school board unanimously approved the creation of the program, 6-0, with board members Jan Potts, Kenneth Butera and Irfan Khan not present.