Enrollment Is Among Principal's Principle Concerns On First Day Of LAUSD Semester

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L.A. Unified students have started a new school year -- but are the teachers that kids met on the first day going to be their teachers for the rest of the year?  The answer depends on enrollment.  

Principal Jose Benitez of Alta California Elementary School in Panorama City spent his morning  opening the door to every classroom, counting which kids showed up — and more importantly, who didn’t show.

Classrooms that exceeded the district’s class-size limit could have forced Benitez to reassign students, but enrollment on the first day was below the limit.

That's not necessarily good news, though: if  enrollment drops too much, there's less funding for the district. Competition from charter schools, and families fleeing the high cost of housing in L.A. have caused a slide in Alta California’s enrollment — even as most academic measures at the school have improved.