Friday, July 20 , 2018, 5:32 pm | Fair 74º


Carpinteria Unified School District Holds Community Meeting

On Thursday evening, about 100 Carpinterians gathered for the Carpinteria Unified School District Community Meeting at the high school.

District Administrator in Charge Jamie Persoon presented regarding state standards, achievement data from the state testing from 2015-2016, and discussed the Local Control Accountability Plan.

Chief Business Officer Maureen Fitzgerald reviewed the district's budget, and discussed that 83 percent of the budget is spent on people, including certificated salaries, classified staff salaries, and management salaries. Fully 27 percent of the district's general fund budget is spent on benefit packages for employees.

Fitzgerald showed the projected fund balances (reserves) over the next several years with current levels of spending, and explained that the district is in a structural deficit, spending down its reserves to less than 1 percent four years out.

The state law requires districts to have 3 percent reserve in multi-year projections, and Carpinteria's board policy as a Basic Aid funded district is to maintain 10 percent reserves to ensure it can make its payroll obligations. The CBO explained that the Board must make spending cuts in order to address this structural deficit and avoid fiscal insolvency. 

Community members discussed the budget, district goals, achievement results, and standards in small groups after each section of the presentation. Some questions were asked around the achievement gap between white students and English Learners and socio-economically disadvantaged students (those who qualify for free and reduced lunch).

A community member asked what interventions were being provided to assist students achieving below grade level, and Persoon described counseling services, reading intervention teachers at the elementary and middle schools, and Principal Gerardo Cornejo spoke about Extended Learning at CHS and a robust after school program with tutoring available. 

Another question was how the district and site principals manage the issue of suspensions, and how they intervene with students who are consistently disruptive to the learning environment. Principals Barnaby Gloger, Gerardo Cornejo, and Assistant Principal Ray Vazquez added their perspective to the conversation.

Cornejo spoke to the question about Santa Barbara City College's College Promise Program, ensuring 2 years free tuition, books, and fees for area high school graduates. He also said that the school continues to focus on assisting students to graduate high school with their A-G requirements in order to be eligible for a four year college or university. 

Cindy Abbott, Project Coordinator, and David Weniger, Director of Facilities, presented about the conceptual plans for each of the district's school sites. They also reviewed the summer work planned coming up, and what to expect in the next year of construction. The top priority of the Measure U initiative was to replace the district's portable classrooms with Gen 7 modular classrooms, which will begin in a few months. 

The entire presentation is available on the district's website under Reports and Presentations. The Board and administration welcome and encourage public input and can be reached via email or by phone at 805.684.4511.

Jamie Persoon is administrator-in-charge for the Carpinteria Unified School District.


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