Auditor Says Brighton Area Schools Turnaround “Unprecedented”

The Brighton Area School District this year came through its annual audit procedure with exceptional results.

CPA Jeffrey Straus of the auditing firm Maner Costerisan in Lansing told the Board of Education at its regular meeting Monday night that the district is in excellent financial shape. And he gave the lion’s share of credit to Superintendent Greg Gray and outgoing Assistant Superintendent for Business and Finance Maria Gistinger.

Straus told the board that the Brighton Area Schools has done an outstanding job of getting its financial house in order after the dark days of several years ago, when it was in the pangs of a huge budget deficit. Straus told the board that going from an $8.5 million shortfall to an $8 million positive fund balance in just six years is practically unheard of in public school education in Michigan.

He said further that Brighton’s turnaround in financial terms is “unprecedented” among school districts he’s familiar with. Straus also told the board that Brighton has reduced its unfunded pension liability by $500,000, which he said is exceptional among school districts. And he said that projections show Brighton adding another million dollars to its fund balance by the end of the current fiscal year next June. (TT)

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