Board Highlights
from the December 12, 2017 meeting
School Employee Housing Assistance Program Explored
The Board and Superintendent Jordan wish to explore different strategies throughout the school year to mitigate the impact of the cost of housing on District employees. This was the second potential solution presented to the Board this school year.

Landed, Inc., is a startup by two Stanford graduates that offers to pay up to half of the 20% home down payment for school employees with zero interest or monthly payments. Instead, Landed gets back its money when the home is sold or refinanced, and Landed assumes up to 25% of the appreciation or depreciation of the home’s value. The expectation is that since home values tend to go upward over time, educators will have enough from their Landed deal’s upside to buy their next home by themselves.

Nikki Lowy, Director of Partnerships at Landed, stated that down payment assistance programs are not new, and in fact, "Stanford, Kaiser and private schools have been running programs for decades. Landed has just standardized best practices and handles the details."

Landed recently received $5 million from the Chan Zuckerburg Initiative and currently works with several school districts and independent schools on the peninsula. Since June they have "helped roughly one buyer per week get into a home around the Bay Area." There is no cost to MUSD to partner with Landed, and no cost to the school employee.

Staff interested in learning more about Landed's down payment assistance program for school employees may attend an information session on January 22, 2018, at 3:30 pm in the Board Room.

For more information from Landed's website, click here.
  
RECOGNITION
Milpitas Elementary Olympics Logo Design Contest Winners honored
Congratulations to Jaden Song, the winner of the first Logo Design Contest of the Milpitas Elementary Olympics, as well to the students who earned honorable mentions! The students all showed great artistic ideas and abilities as well as school spirit. Their designs incorporated the spirit of Milpitas, our international community, and the bonds created through Olympic game competitions.The winning logo will be featured in all material for the Milpitas Elementary Olympics this year, including promotional items and on the official website. The c ontest was a joint effort between the Milpitas Unified School District and the City of Milpitas, and was open to elementary school students in the 1 st through 6 th  grade. Mayor Richard Tran, Councilperson Bob Nunez, and other City staff were on hand to congratulate the students. Superintendent Jordan thanked all involved "for exemplifying the best of what it means to be a Milpitan." The Milpitas Elementary Olympics will be held on May 5, 2018 at Milpitas High School.
MHS Speech and Debate Record-Tying Performance and Outstanding Achievement Recognized
At the December 2 Alta High School debate tournament in Sandy, Utah, the team of Neval Mulaomerovic and Nisha Porchezhiyan won their bid round to become Milpitas' third team in our history to qualify fully for the Tournament of Champions held every spring at the University of Kentucky. Oishika Barat and Josephine Tai finished with a 6-2 record at Tenth seed in preliminary debates out of 97 teams from all over the country. Superintendent Jordan congratulated the winners "for outstanding achievement by demonstrating exemplary logical, articulate, and compelling communication skills." 
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FLAG Salute Led by Spangler Students
The Board offered their appreciation to Spangler Elementary School students Tajes Bhatkhande, Arjun Bhatkhande, and Jake Johnson Silveria for representing their school and leading the flag salute at the Board Meeting. Well done!
REPORTS
MUSD Earned Upgraded Credit Rating
Assistant Superintendent Wendy Zhang reported that "we have received our rating from Standard & Poor's financial services, and we have been upgraded from a credit rating of AA- to a rating of AA. I think this is a positive message to send to the public, and it shows that MUSD is on the right track. Residents and taxpayers will benefit from this. I am very excited to share this news with the Board."
Food Drive Competition Results in Board President Getting a Mohawk Haircut
The results are in for the 2017 Jack Emery Food Drive! MUSD formed two teams this year for a friendly competition to see which team could donate the greatest amount. One team was comprised of the Board Members and Mayor Richard Tran; the second team was made up of staff from the District Office, Student Nutrition Department, Adult Education, Child Development Centers, and Maintenance, Operations and Transportation. The final dollar equivalent count was $693 for the Board Members and Mayor Tran versus $1304 for the staff departments. Since Board President Dan Bobay had good-naturedly offered to get a mohawk haircut if his team lost, he promptly got that haircut and is seen in the picture here holding the food drive trophy which he had created and which will be held by the winning team until next year. President Bobay stated, "It was all for a good cause, and I am happy the end result is that together we are all making a positive difference to our community." Thank you, President Bobay, for being a cut above!
ACTION
Board Accepts Successful Audit Reports on Measure "E" Bond
The District is required to conduct an annual performance audit on Measure "E" bond to ensure that funds have been expended only on valid bond expenditures. Jeff Jensen from the Certified Public Accountant firm of Crowe Horwath LLP presented their independent auditor's report indicating that there were "no findings" and "no instances of noncompliance" for the year ending June 30, 2017.

The firm also audited MUSD's financial statements for the Measure "E" bond for the year ending June 30, 2017, and Jensen stated that it was a "very successful audit" also with no findings.
First Interim Financial Status Report Adopted and Positive Financial Certification Submitted;
Multi-Year Projection Discussed
Assistant Superintendent of Business Services, Wendy Zhang presented a detailed interim report regarding the District's General Fund financial status as of October 31, 2017. For current year 2017-2018, the District will end the year with a projected balance of $9.2 million, so the Board will submit a positive financial certification for the first interim report to the Santa Clara County Office of Education and State Department of Education.

Assistant Superintendent Zhang also provided a multi-year projection summary which shows that mostly due to pension costs and rate increases, as well as contractual obligations, the District will need to use operational savings from year 2017-2018 to balance the budget for 2018-2019. For year 2019-2020, the current projection indicates there will a deficit gap, which is why Zhang recommends the District start budget reductions a year prior, to minimize potential impact on District programs. Zhang also reported that she and Superintendent Jordan have already started holding meetings with stakeholder groups to generate and get input on cost savings ideas. These ideas will be shared with the Board in future meetings. Superintendent Jordan shared that her Cabinet has already started discussions on potential funding streams, such as partnering arrangements in which we provide the building and the other party provides services, and other joint use agreements and facilities which would provide funds in the form of rents, leases, or "in kind" compensation. Superintendent Jordan stated, "We will continue to think about ways to use our resources that bring community in and bring funding in."