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Brighton Schools Operating in the Black After Nine Years

Brighton Area Schools received praise from auditors during Monday's meeting.

The Brighton Area Schools District was praised for making progress on its legacy deficit during its annual audit report Monday night.

The district is finally back in the black for the first time in nine years, according to Superintendent Greg Gray.

The district added $500,000 to it's fund balance during fiscal year 2011-2012, however, it is still facing a legacy deficit of more than $7 million.

Gray said he is extremely proud of the work the district has done amidst challenges like declining enrollment.

Last year, the state cut public school funding by $470 per student. Assistant Superintendent of Finance Maria Gistinger said that cost the district about $3 million last year and is costing another $3 million this year, since funding has not been restored.

"We don't have an expenditure problem, we have a revenue problem," Gray said.

Auditors praised the district and Gistinger for a $3,000 budget variance.

"A $3,000 variance on a $50,000,000 budget is like being a penny off on your yearly household budget," Gray said. "It's about as tight as you're ever going to find."

The district's deficit elimination plan has it eliminating all debt by 2014. However Board Vice President Bill Anderson expressed concerns that the plan was not realistic.

"The one thing that we will never do here is cut programming, because that's the one thing that gives our kids an advantage as they head out into the world," Gray said about managing the district's debt elimination.

*Editor's Note: The budget amount in this story has been corrected.

Marcia Oates December 12, 2012 at 04:01 PM
I think it was missing $3000 on a $50,000,000 budget. Just missing a few zeros!
Nicole Krawcke December 12, 2012 at 06:15 PM
Hi Marcia, that is right. The budget was $50 million, not thousand. Thanks for spotting the typo. The story has been corrected.

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