The Brighton Board of Education approved an unlimited Schools of Choice program for this fall at its meeting Monday night.

That means all Brighton schools will be open to students from other area school districts. And Superintendent Greg Gray tells WHMI that students at all grade levels will be accepted - from junior kindergarten through the 12th grade.

In Brighton, 15% of all students enrolled are Schools of Choice students – way above the state average – which Gray says is a testament to Brighton’s desirability and academic reputation. Gray says that the Schools of Choice program has made a big difference in helping Brighton get out of being a deficit district. That’s because the district gets the full amount of per-pupil state aid when a student opts to choose Brighton over his or her home school district. That amounts to about $7,600 per student in the Brighton Area Schools.

The Schools of Choice program was established by the state in the mid 1990’s to give students more choices in the public school they want to attend. The caveat is that the school they want to transfer to must be in the same intermediate school district as the one in which they are currently enrolled. For Brighton, that means the school district the student leaves would have to be in Livingston County, where the intermediate district is the Livingston Educational Service Agency.

Schools of Choice programs can be unlimited in the number of students they accept – such as in Brighton for the coming fall term - or a district may only have a small amount of openings, called a limited Schools of Choice program. Gray says the district will start accepting applications for the program the latter part of this month.(TT)