San Jose: Education and Research

Elementary and Secondary Schools

Fourteen school districts serve the population of San Jose, including the largest, San Jose Unified School District. News in 2005 was of the district's continuing budget difficulties, with the district facing a $9-11 million deficit for the 2005-2006 school year and a $11-13 million deficit for the following year. Cited as contributing to the crisis was a steadily declining enrollment, a decrease in state funding, and increases in operational expenses; of special concern are possible school closings.

The following is a summary of data regarding the San Jose Unified School District as of the 2002–2003 school year.

Total enrollment: 32,612

Number of facilities elementary schools: 27

junior high/middle schools: 7

senior high schools: 7

other: 1 college preparatory

Student/teacher ratio: 21.5:1

Teacher salaries (2002-2003)

Minimum: $33,128

Maximum: $72,665

Funding per pupil: $8,546 (2001-2002)

More than 60 private and parochial schools serve San Jose.

Public Schools Information: San Jose Unified School District, 855 Lenzen Avenue, San Jose, CA 95126; telephone (408)535-6000

Colleges and Universities

Based in San Jose is San Jose State University, the oldest public institution of higher learning on the West Coast, as well as one of the largest universities in the 23-campus California State University system. San Jose State University educates nearly 30,000 students and offers 134 bachelor's and master's degrees in 110 concentrations; the university prides itself on being the top supplier of engineering, computer science, and business graduates to the Silicon Valley high-tech workforce. The San Jose/Evergreen Community College District is comprised of San Jose City College and Evergreen Valley College; both award associate of arts and science degrees, and occupational and technical training to their more than 30,000 students. The University of Phoenix-North California Campuses has a facility in San Jose, which awards bachelors and masters degrees. Also located in the San Jose area are technical and vocational schools, adult learning centers, and extension facilities. Several colleges and universities—some of them considered among the best in the nation—are within driving distance of San Jose. They include Stanford University, Santa Clara University, and the University of California campuses at Berkeley and Santa Cruz.

Libraries and Research Centers

The San Jose Public Library system operates a main facility, 21 branches, and a bookmobile. Library holdings consist of more than 1.9 million items. The newly-constructed $177.5 million Dr. Martin Luther King Junior Main Library opened in 2003. The new building, 7 years in planning, was a joint development effort between the city, San Jose State University, and the San Jose Redevelopment Agency. With 8 floors and more than 475,000 square feet, the library is among the largest in the country and serves more than one million visitors annually. The Main Library also houses a special collection in the California Room, featuring state and local history from 1849 to the present; the Cultural Heritage Center; and the Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies. In early 2005 three new neighborhood facilities had opened, adding square footage and replacing older library buildings; at the same time, four branches were closed and construction was beginning on new facilities.

The San Jose State University library, now part of the San Jose Public Library's Dr. Martin Luther King Junior Main Library, houses the Steinbeck Research Center, which contains the writings and memorabilia of novelist John Steinbeck, a San Jose area native, as well as the world's largest collection of the writer's first edition books.

San Jose institutions conduct research activities in such fields as gerontology, the environment, and telecommunications. IBM's Almaden Research Center conducts industrial research in computer science, software, computer storage technology, and physical and materials science and technology.

Public Library Information: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Main Library, 150 E. San Fernando Street, San Jose, CA 95112; telephone (408)808-2000