After being a deficit district for several years, Brighton Area School District officials can finally say they are out of the woods.

The district has had a balanced budget for the last two years and had a comfortable fund balance of $1.6 million going into the 2016-17 fiscal year. Assistant Superintendent Maria Gistinger said at Monday night’s meeting that for the first time that anyone can remember, the district will not have to do any springtime borrowing to make ends meet. Normally around this time of year, Michigan school districts resort to borrowing to tide them over until the next state aid payment arrives. This year, that will not likely be necessary for Brighton. Superintendent Greg Gray says that as a result of borrowing, Brighton has had to pay out $1.6 million in interest costs in the last 10 years.
Gray says the interest saved can go back into children’s educations instead of having to go to pay off a loan. He says not having to borrow funds will also improve the district’s bond rating.

However, Gray says the district should have a fallback plan in case something unexpected happens. This would involve establishing a line of credit, in which case the only costs involved would occur if the district had to borrow. (TT)