At their meeting last week, the Brighton Area Schools Board of Education voted to amend the 2022-2023 budget, incorporating an additional $10 million into their annual funding.
With this modification, the district’s budget is around $81.8 million dollars. Andy Storm noted that this is a significant increase from the $71.8 million allotted to the district in June 2022. Michael Engelter, Assistant Superintendent of Finance, explained that there are numerous factors contributing to this increase, including additional grants, retirement funds, instructional coaches, and new technology.
Additionally, an extra $1.2 million has been allocated for security, with additional funds going toward various operations and maintenance projects. The budget also provides for board auditing and legal representation. Storm suggested that the board find a way to lower the amount of money going toward these matters. Meanwhile, the amount designated for curriculum and supplies has already been decreased.
Storm expressed concern and confusion at the varying allotments and allocations, seeking specific answers as to where the money was going. Engelter didn’t elaborate on every single item of the budget– the general funds budget alone is comprised of approximately 2,000 individual line items. He did, however, assure that the district has a highly regimented system of internal controls to track what funds go to what projects, as well as keeping track of trends and patterns in the district and predicting enrollment rates.
“This is a very unique budget – and I’m talking about for every school district across the entire state of Michigan– there are so many pots of money, “ Superintendent Matt Outlaw explained. “Money coming in for mental health, for safety, ripple effects from COVID-19. It’s a moving target, and a lot of things have changed since June.”
The budget was approved 7-0, and will be re-evaluated for the 2023-2024 school year in June.
The Board also unanimously approved the payment for new CTE equipment and verified that sample vape detectors will be installed in Brighton High School, as well as Scranton Middle School and Maltby Intermediate School.
The Brighton Board of Education will meet again on April 10th.