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Superintendent’s Letter: December 2011

The other day while attending a Sunnyvale Challenge Team meeting I was struck by a wonderful realization. In attendance were representatives from thirteen different organizations gathered together for the purpose of supporting the youth of the Sunnyvale community. These organizations all partner in some way with our schools to strengthen the learning supports offered to students; either academic, recreational, enrichment or addressing social emotional barriers to learning. These organizations are community assets that help our students thrive and the services they provide are needed now more than ever as funding for public education continues to decline.

All eyes are on Sacramento as we await the determination of the possible mid-year funding cuts to our schools. The state’s schools face up to $1.4 billion in automatic spending cuts after analysts determined that California’s revenues have come in dramatically lower than the governor and state lawmakers had hoped. Our schoolchildren are among those that face a direct hit from the state’s financial difficulties.

While Sunnyvale School District remains financially strong and can withstand mid-year cuts by drawing on reserves, our ability to buffer our programs and services against ongoing state cuts to our funding will surely come to an end and we too will be faced with budget cuts similar to those that have been imposed by so many school districts across our state. I am concerned that any such cuts to our program will jeopardize the substantial progress we are making in student achievement across all schools and subgroups. If we believe that our children are our greatest resource, then we all must advocate for more funding for public education and contribute to their future.

Thank you for your continued support of your neighborhood schools and Sunnyvale School District and warmest wishes to you for a wonderful holiday season.

Yours truly,

Benjamin Picard
Superintendent of Schools

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