School Competition

With enrollment declining at Carpinteria High School for the sixth year in a row, new Carpinteria Unified School District Superintendent Paul Cordeiro has undertaken an aggressive campaign to attract new students from outside the district. This week, Cordeiro held an open house preceded by a media and advertising blitz publicizing the school’s offerings. He plans to hold focus groups in March debriefing parents who left the district. The school has lost more than one-third of its students during six years, dropping its head count to 825. The decline may be self-perpetuating, since attendance determines school funding. According to Santa Barbara District spokesperson Barbara Keyani, programs in Santa Barbara attract students from its wealthy feeder districts, as well as from Carpinteria.

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