Based on projections in enrollment, state aid and other factors, the Brighton Area Schools Board of Education approved a budget of $70.3 million for the 2017-18 fiscal year at its Monday night meeting.

The board also approved the final amended budget for the current year ending June 30. Up 10% from last year’s figure, at just over $69 million, the amended budget reflects the district’s improved financial picture. The district’s fund equity is also projected to continue its upward swing next year. Assistant Superintendent Maria Gistinger says the budget shows a projected fund balance of $6 million at the end of next year, compared to a $4 million fund equity at the end of the current fiscal year. That’s a far cry from just a few short years ago, when Brighton was one of the state’s deficit districts.

Superintendent Greg Gray tells WHMI that the budget for next year is a solid one, and will include ample revenue to provide the district’s 6,000 students with a top-notch education. He adds that early statistics indicate strong kindergarten enrollment figures, and Schools of Choice figures – wherein students from nearby districts may enroll in the Brighton Area Schools - are strong, as well.
Some 79% of the budget will come in the form of state per-pupil aid, which is in reality taxes paid by local residents to the state which are funneled back to the district.

Like other school districts clumped at the bottom in their state aid allowance, Brighton will receive a $120 per-pupil increase in the coming year, going from $7,511 to $7,631 per student. That will provide an extra $720,000 in revenue for the district. The increase, approved by the state legislature, is another factor in Brighton's improving revenue picture. (TT)