California and Bay Area schools

California’s strong commitment to supporting public education is shown in the state’s constitution, which requires 40% of state revenues to be spent on education. About one-fifth of California’s school districts are located in the San Francisco Bay Area, and most Bay Area students attend public school. The majority of Sandia employees live within the boundaries of the Alameda, Contra Costa, and San Joaquin County Offices of Education.

For higher education, the Bay Area offers a dizzying array of choices — from top-tier research universities like Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley to excellent two-year community colleges and literally dozens of public and private institutions in between. California has some of the finest public universities in the country, with multiple campuses for the UC and California State University systems located throughout the state.

California also boasts a highly efficient and affordable community college system. After graduating from high school, many students choose to save money by living at home, attending low-fee community colleges, and completing their lower-division university courses. Students can then transfer as juniors to the college of their choice.


Most Sandia employees live in school districts that boast a majority of California Distinguished Schools. These schools are considered the best of the best. They share a vision of excellence, and they have brought that vision to life in their districts. The program, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2011, identifies and honors some of the state’s most exemplary and inspiring public schools. Although participation is voluntary, the award is highly sought after by schools in all areas of the state. Approximately 5 percent of California’s public schools are selected each year, and no fewer than 40 counties are typically represented.

Several Bay Area state and private colleges and universities have been listed consistently in the Best Colleges list compiled by U.S. News & World Report.