Sol Gabetta

Carpinteria High School students attend a performance by cellist Sol Gabetta in 2016 in the school’s library. The school board has approved $365,000 in districtwide budget cuts to library and media technology staff, custodians and instructional aides.

At the final meeting of the academic year, the Carpinteria Unified School District board voted, 4-1, to approve a proposed budget of nearly $30 million, with $809,132 in cuts to curriculum, athletics and custodial and instructional aide spending. Trustee Rogelio Delgado was the only dissenting vote. The June 25 meeting also dealt with end-of-year business, including a draft of approved donations and construction orders for Measure U spending this summer.

With little debate, the board voted to accept district staff’s proposed budget for academic year 2019-20. Cuts remained as specified at the June 11 budget proposal meeting. A large chunk, some $345,000, comes from the decision to forestall adoption of an extra elementary English, language arts and science curriculum, along with the removal by attrition of a high school level social studies teaching position. The balance of cuts impacts a variety of sources, including a $20,000 reduction in athletics spending, $75,000 in savings on field trip expenditures, and a $365,000 hit to library and media technology staff, custodians and instructional aides.

The budget maintains a 6 percent fiscal reserve, roughly $2.7 million, below the district goal of 10 percent. The reserve is projected to grow to 8 percent in 2020-21 and 11 percent in 2021-22, and the district projects a surplus of more than $500,000 in 2020-21 and nearly $1.2 million in 2021-22, fueling hopes that district students and staff will be spared further cuts in future years.


With district enrollment expected to grow slightly next year, the board announced the hire of seven new teachers, replacing three retirements and two resignations, and bringing on two additional special education teachers. The district is continuing to recruit for an additional elementary teacher, another special education teacher, and an assistant principal for Carpinteria High School.  

Superintendent Diana Rigby reported on graduation progress, summer-time construction, faculty professional development and the addition of the new UCSB sponsored college counseling program at CHS. The superintendent praised the 95 percent graduation rate in the district, which far outstrips the nation-wide average of 84.6 percent.

Due to Measure U construction special education summer school programs will be relocated from Aliso and Canalino to Summerland, Carpinteria Middle and Main campus. CHS credit recovery programs for approximately 60 students will be held at the Rincon campus.

District faculty will pursue several professional development avenues over the summer, particularly for the new engineering pathways program at CHS, which will allow for “problem-based, real world technology” studies for juniors and seniors. District trustees also unanimously approved a 1 percent cost-of-living adjustment for managerial staff. The board will move to monthly meetings over the summer, with the next scheduled for July 23.

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