SMMUSD Rejects Latest Proposal from Malibu; Separation Hearing Tomorrow Malibu proposed county body or third party negotiate financial agreement
April 29, 2021
By Jack Simon, Observer Staff Writer
The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education on Friday morning voted 5-2 to reject the latest City of Malibu counter proposal on “unification” or separation.
This latest offer would have required SMMUSD to support the Malibu’s petition in exchange for the City and District agreeing to be bound by whatever financial recommendation the Los Angeles County Committee on School District Organization (LACOE), its staff and consultants might make at a future date, district officials said.
This 5-2 decision was made during a closed session. Board members Craig Foster and Richard Tahvildaran-Jesswein dissented.
Malibu’s proposal and its rejection will not change the status quo. “The District will continue to advocate for denial of the petition while also promoting what it believes to be a fair and equitable proposal for separation,” SMMUSD officials said.
Tomorrow, LACOE will hold a virtual meeting to hear Malibu’s separation petition to split from SMMUSD. Testimony will be presented by the City of Malibu and SMMUSD, followed by public comment.
To join the virtual meeting webinar: https://lacoe-edu.zoom.us/j/81101324358?pwd=TXdtc3VrYmVBNzNOMlFT aVVmSFBjUT09 Password: 547531
“The School Board is not comfortable agreeing to be bound by future recommendations -- sight unseen -- particularly since the District has its own financial plan that will accomplish an equitable separation,” said Board President Jon Kean. “To do otherwise would be an abdication of our responsibility to act in the best interests of our students.”
“We continue to support the concept of unification but we will not relinquish our authority to ensure a fair outcome in the process,” Kean continued. “We again reiterate our desire to work cooperatively with the Malibu and re-extend an invitation to the City to return to the negotiating table with the district.”