At the Board of Education meeting Monday night, Brighton Assistant Superintendent of Finance Maria Gistinger told the board that the district is in line to have a $5.5 million fund balance by the end of the fiscal year on June 30th. Contrast that with the 2009-10 school year, when Brighton was projected to have $15 million worth of red ink if something weren’t done to correct the situation.

Action by Superintendent Greg Gray, Gistinger and the board whittled that figure down to an $8 million deficit by the end of that year. Things have changed radically since that time. Gray tells WHMI that if current projections are correct, Brighton will end the year with the largest fund equity it has had since the state changed the way school districts are financed.

The Brighton district, like other public school districts, annually revises its budget, and the revised budget for 2017-18 will be acted on by the board at its next meeting.

Gistinger also gave the board an update on the new Brighton orchestra program. She says that response has been much higher than anticipated, and the orchestra – consisting this year only of Maltby Intermediate School 5th graders – has 82 students in four sections. One grade will be added each year until the program runs through the 12th grade and is annually sustainable as a full-fledged orchestra program.

The district recently purchased 20 new musical instruments for $11,000, and also bought 110 like- new instruments for $13,000 from a neighboring district which is discontinuing its orchestra program. (TT)