San José Unified is an innovative urban school district that prepares today’s students to be the thinkers, leaders, and creators of tomorrow. We are reinventing the education system by bringing together teachers and staff with parents and students, inspiring each to discover their own greatness.
Serving over 30,000 students from transitional kindergarten through high school in 41 schools from Downtown San José to the Almaden Valley, San José Unified is Silicon Valley’s largest and most diverse school system.
To see our boundaries and find a school, visit our School Locator.
Strategic Plan 2017-2020
Through more than 30 community meetings and a series of online surveys and focus groups over the 2016-2017 school year, San José Unified collected input from students, staff, families, and community members to shape an updated Strategic Plan to guide our work over the next three years. The Board of Education adopted the following key objectives and metrics on June 22, 2017.
If you’re familiar with our previous strategic plan, Opportunity21, you’ll find these objectives familiar. That’s because we heard loud and clear from our community that we’re headed in the right direction. We’ve used this update to focus on key benchmarks and indicators of success.
If you have any questions or comments, please send them our way.
At San José Unified, we are preparing today’s students to be the thinkers, leaders, and creators of tomorrow with…
- A rigorous curriculum that inspires all students to discover their own greatness
- Our students excel – All schools and student groups will score in the two highest performance levels on the California School Dashboard for English language arts, mathematics, English Learner progress, graduation rate, and college and career readiness.
- An innovative workforce that knows the lessons we learn are just as important as the lessons we teach.
- We hire the best – All new employees will pass rigorous screening assessments.
- We succeed in a competitive talent market – All roles will be filled on the first day of school.
- We are a strong team – At least 95% of staff meeting performance standards will be retained.
- A unified community that elevates opportunities for all
- Our students feel safe – At least 80% of students will feel supported and have positive school connections.
- Our families feel engaged – At least 80% of families will feel involved in their student’s education.
- Enhanced resources that make the extraordinary ordinary
- Our students spend more time learning – All schools and student groups, as measured both locally and by the state, will score in the two highest performance levels on the California School Dashboard for suspension rate and student attendance.
- We allocate resources based on need – 100% of supplemental funds will directly support our highest-need students.
- An efficient system that asks and answers the questions, “Why?” and “What if?”
- We cover the basics – All schools and the district will meet standards as measured by the California School Dashboard for basic services, implementation of academic standards, parent engagement, and feedback through a local climate survey.
- We budget responsibly – Annual expenses will be within 15% of projections, or we will be able to explain why.
- We follow through – Initiatives will redefine what is possible and achieve stated goals.
What is LCAP?
Each year, districts are required by the California Department of Education to develop a Local Control and Accountability Plan that explains the district’s:
- Prior year progress toward its goals;
- Goals and actions planned for the next three years; and
- Process to engage parents, community, staff, and students in the development of the plan.
The LCAP should clearly explain how the planned actions and budget allocations will meet the state and district priority areas, in addition to how funds will be used at a school-by-school level.
How is the LCAP organized?
The LCAP has five components:
- Plan Summary – Summarizes what went well and where we can improve.
- Annual Update – Highlights our progress and expenses in 2017-2018 compared to our stated goals and actions.
- Stakeholder Engagement – Explains the process used to engage parents, pupils, staff, and the community, and how this engagement contributed to development of the plan.
- Goals, Actions & Services – A three-year plan that defines our annual goals and specifies the actions and funds allocated to achieve these goals.
- Demonstration of Increased or Improved Services for Unduplicated Pupils – Identifies the funding allocated by the district based on the number of English Learners, low-income students, and foster youth served, and describes how funds will be used.
If you have any questions or comments, please send them our way.
School districts receive state, federal, and local funding to educate all students within their attendance areas. Spending of these funds is largely governed by state and federal law and contracts with employee groups. Within these guidelines, thousands of decisions must be made every year about how funds can best be used to provide the highest quality education to all students.
Budget decisions at San José Unified are made based on policies set by the Board of Education. Board members are community trustees, elected by voters in five Trustee Areas to represent their interests. The board reviews long-range and annual plans, including budgets, presented by the Superintendent and district staff. These plans and budgets are a roadmap for spending priorities in the coming year.
The budget review process begins in March and includes extensive opportunities for community input, including board meetings, public hearings, and advisory groups. The final budget for the coming school year is adopted in June.
- Where do we get our funding?
Public schools in California have four major sources of funding:
- Tax Revenue & State Funds – This combination of local property taxes and state support provides about 62% of our General Fund revenue.
- State Mandates – The state government provides about 35% of our revenue for Class Size Reduction, Mandated Cost Reimbursements, Transportation services, and various targeted state grants. (Note: The state lottery is included in this amount. However, the lottery provides less than 2% of all General Fund revenue.)
- Federal Government – The federal government provides about 8% of funding, primarily for Special Education.
- Local Revenue – About 5% of our revenue comes from grants and/or donations from foundations, businesses, and individuals, as well as school fundraising activities. (Note: Revenue from the 2016 Measure Y parcel tax will be included in this amount.)
The Ed-Data web site has more detailed information on San Jose Unified’s funding and financial results. Visit ed-data.k12.ca.us and follow the prompts to review this information.
- How are funding levels determined?
Each district in the state has a different combination of federal, state, and local funding sources. The amount is based on:
- Average Daily Attendance (ADA) – The average number of students in attendance during the designated school year.
- The Revenue Limit – As determined by annual state legislation using a calculation based on a 1972 figure, adjusted for inflation, the revenue limit varies from district to district.
- Categorical Funding – These funds are provided based on the number of qualifying students (for instance, over 30% of San José Unified students qualify for free or reduced-price meals and other programs designed to serve low-income students) or to support specific district programs (federal magnet programs, bilingual education, etc.). Use of these funds is restricted to the specific purpose, program, or students they are designed to serve. The district receives and accounts for about 150 separate federal, state, and local categorical funding sources.
- How is the district budget organized?
There are two types of funds in district and school budgets:
- General Fund – General purpose funds represent about 65% of district funding and are apportioned to each district based on ADA and the Revenue Limit. These funds may be used at the district’s discretion to meet the educational needs of students. The majority of funds support employee salaries and benefits.
- Restricted Funds – State, federal, and local funds represent about 35% of district funding. The majority of these funds are spent at the school site and are aligned with site plans for student achievement.
- How can I have input on the budget?
The San José Unified Budget Advisory Committee (BAC) advises the Superintendent regarding budget development for each fiscal year. The Superintendent weighs the advice of the committee, along with the priorities of the district’s Strategic Plan, in preparing a final budget for recommendation to the Board of Education in June.
Meetings of the Budget Advisory Committee are open to the public and take place at the District Office, 855 Lenzen Avenue, generally on a Monday at 6:00pm. Please visit the District Calendar for an updated schedule of BAC meetings.
Other advisory committees and groups influence district priorities and budget decisions. Click here to learn more.
One vital avenue for community input in school budgets is the School Site Council (SSC), which makes decisions about non-mandated spending. Please contact your principal for information about the SSC at your student’s school.
- Who reviews the district’s financial records?
External auditors annually perform a thorough audit of the district’s financial statements to ensure that they accurately reflect the district’s true financial position.
Click here to view the most recent auditor reports.
Additionally, internal auditors conduct ongoing reviews of processes and procedures to ensure efficiency as well as safeguarding of assets.
Any member of the public may contact the Safety Line at (866) 344-8355 (TELL) to report suspected improper activities.
Audits & Reports
Click below to review audits and reports on San José Unified’s financial activities:
- LCAP & Budget
- Annual Financial Audit Report
- Unaudited Financial Statement
- Associated Student Body Funds
- First Interim Report 2018-2019 Fiscal Year
Bonds & Construction
General obligation bonds give school districts a tool to raise funds for construction and maintenance projects that will not provide direct sources of revenue but will serve the entire community. This includes classrooms and media centers, multi-purpose rooms and gyms, air conditioning, and solar energy systems.
We’re grateful to voters who have approved three bond measures over the past 20 years to help San José Unified provide clean and well-maintained facilities for 30,000-plus students, improve energy efficiency, modernize science facilities and classrooms, upgrade classroom technology, improve safety and security, and much more.
If you’d like to learn more, please read our Facilities and Construction Glossary of Terms.
- Measure H
More than 71% of voters approved Measure H in November 2012, allowing San José Unified to issue $290 million in general obligation bonds to improve energy efficiency, keep schools clean and well-maintained, modernize science facilities and classrooms, upgrade classroom technology, and improve safety and security.
Tentative issuance schedule:
- 2013: $98.3M (Issued in January 2013)
- 2015: $85.0M (Issued in January 2015)
- 2018: $60.0M (Issued in January 2018)
- 2020: $46.7M
In November 2014, the San José Unified Board of Education approved the Measure H Implementation Plan (HIP) following a nine-month community engagement process that involved more than 3,000 community members through a series of meetings at each of the district’s schools, an online survey, and several district-wide meetings.
- Measure H Implementation Plan (Updated November 2017)
- Phase II Funding Allocations (Updated April 2016)
- Phase II Funding Allocations (Updated January 2016)
- Phase II Funding Allocations (Updated January 2017)
- Phase II and III Funding Allocations (Updated December 2017)
Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee
The Measure H Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee (CBOC) was created as required by state law to actively review and report on the proper use of taxpayers’ money for school construction, and to promptly alert the public to any waste or improper expenditure of school construction bond money. Click here to learn more.
Blue Ribbon Panel
The Measure H Implementation Plan (HIP) established a “blue ribbon” panel to determine the feasibility and viability of an aquatic center and a performing arts center as potential community benefit projects. The panel met seven times from April to November 2015 and determined that an aquatic center was neither feasible nor viable and that a performing arts center was feasible but not viable due to lack of funding. Panel members encouraged the district to pursue additional funding for a performing arts center.
- Measure F
More than 69% of voters approved Measure F in March 2002, allowing San José Unified to issue $429 million in general obligation bonds to repair and rehabilitate local schools over a 6-9 year period. Every school in the district benefitted from the bond proceeds.
All Measure F projects have been completed. The bonds, including interest, are being paid off over a 30-year period through a temporary increase in the property tax rate. Click here to read and download annual auditor and performance reports.
- Measure C
More than 73% of voters approved Measure C in June 1997, allowing San José Unified to issue $165 million in general obligation bonds to: repair existing neighborhood schools; fix and replace deteriorating roofs, gas, sewer and water lines, heating, ventilation and electrical systems; wire classrooms and computer labs for technology; renovate, construct, and acquire classrooms; remodel outdated toilet and science facilities; and improve safety and security of schools and playgrounds.
All Measure C projects have been completed. Click here to read and download annual auditor, performance, and oversight committee reports.
- Proposition 39
Approved by voters in a statewide election in November 2000, Proposition 39 amended the California Constitution to authorize the issuance of bonded indebtedness to acquire or improve real property, if approved by fifty-five percent (55%) of the votes cast by voters in an election. The Constitution permits the debt service on such bonds to be paid through the imposition of ad valorem property taxes on property located within the district.
The maturity of any such bonds issued would not exceed 25 years for those bonds issued pursuant to the Education Code, and 40 years for those bonds issued pursuant to the Government Code, at a rate of interest within the legal limit. The tax rate is estimated not to exceed $60 per $100,000 of taxable property in the district as provided in the Tax Rate Statement.
Since the interest rate on the bonds is determined when the bonds are sold, the exact amount of the tax increase can only be determined after the bonds are sold.
- Contractors & Vendors
Are you a contractor or vendor who would like to receive requests for proposal (RFP) for construction projects in San José Unified? Please complete this simple form.
Your information will be forwarded to the Construction Department.
Are you a consultant who would like to be added to our potential consultant list? Please complete this simple form. Your information will be forwarded to the Construction Department.
Departments & Staff
San José Unified’s policies, procedures, and initiatives are managed at the district level by the Superintendent, her Council, and Directors of various departments. These administrators support our 4,000 employees across more than 40 schools and other sites.