A new partnership forms with Evergreen Valley College

I would like to welcome the Milpitas community to the 2009-10 school year. The Board of Education and the many talented and caring teachers, administrators and support staff are anticipating another academically challenging and exciting school year for our more than 9,700 students and their families.

I am very pleased and excited to announce the formation of a new partnership between the Milpitas Unified School District and Evergreen Valley College. It is my goal that the outcome of this new partnership will result in the construction of a new community college facility and development of a college level educational program on the Milpitas High School campus. By having a community college facility and program on the Milpitas High campus, it will give our high school students an opportunity to earn college level credits while still attending high school. It will also give Milpitas residents the opportunity to take classes in the evenings, weekends and during those times when Milpitas High is not in session without having to travel to another Bay Area city to take college classes. This will be a tremendous opportunity for our high school students and residents of Milpitas.

The funding to build the facility for this project will come from a community college bond that was approved by the voters of Milpitas a number of years ago. Therefore, no Milpitas Unified School District educational dollars will be spent on the


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facility. This program, once realized, will be the first of its kind in California. It is my hope that this project will be completed within the next two to three years.

On a separate note, I am sure you are all aware that the United States and California in particular are in the throngs of a deep recession. Probably you or someone you know has been negatively affected by the downturn in the economy. Our school district is also suffering financially. For the 2009-10 school year, the district will not receive $13.5 million from the state it would have received in a normal year. That amount of money represents an approximate 16 percent reduction to our budget.

The district will be exploring the possibility of a local parcel tax and other initiatives to increase funding for the students here. I hope that you will support our efforts to raise money for our schools.

One way you could help right now is to participate in the BAPS Charities Walk 09. BAPS Charities has selected the Milpitas Unified School District and the American Cancer Society as benefactors in their 12th Annual Walkathon. The walkathon takes place on Saturday, Sept. 19 at 9 a.m. at Lake Elizabeth in Central Park in Fremont. You can receive detailed information regarding the walkathon by visiting online at www.firstgiving.com/bapssanjose.

I look forward to another tremendously successful school year and I know that you will continue to support the goals and vision of the Milpitas Unified School District. I encourage you to visit www.musd.org to gain a greater insight into our district.

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Karl N. Black is superintendent of Milpitas Unified School District. He can be contacted at kblack @musd.org. "Superintendent's Forum" appears monthly.