By Tom Tolen /

The Brighton Board of Education will have an unlimited Schools of Choice program in certain grades for the fall 2022-23 term. Schools of Choice is a program in which students from other districts may enroll in the school of their choice, as long as it’s in the same intermediate school district as the one where they reside — or a contiguous one.

As a result of the state-sanctioned program, the Brighton Area Schools will receive the per-pupil state aid that otherwise would go to the student’s home district. At $8,700 — the current state per-pupil foundation allowance — that amounts to nearly $8.9 million the district would otherwise not have received, out of its $86.5 million total district budget.

At its Feb. 14th meeting, the board voted unanimously to offer unlimited Schools of Choice for junior kindergarten, kindergarten and grades 5-11, and limited Schools of Choice for grades 1-4 and grade 12. The district is reserving the right to make the number of students in JK, kindergarten, and 1st through 4th grades dependent on enrollment figures that come in during the summer months. In addition, students who have a sibling who attends a Brighton elementary school will receive preference over those who do not.

With 1,019 Schools of Choice students enrolled in Brighton currently, it translates into 17% of the district’s roughly 5,900 students residing in other school districts but who have chosen to be part of the Brighton Area Schools. Superintendent Matthew Outlaw says that’s a comfortable number and he wouldn’t want it to go much higher. He told the board, “There are some school districts that have 30, 40, (even) 70% Schools of Choice.” It is Outlaw’s observation that those districts "lose the connection with the community they serve."

If a student comes from an intermediate school district other than the one in Livingston County (the Livingston Educational Service Agency) and receives special education services, then the Brighton School District is required to receive approval for the transfer from the district in which the student resides.

For more information on the Brighton Area Schools’ "Schools of Choice" program, go to: