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Malibu officials are pushing a schools separation plan that provides well for Santa Monica for the next decade.
Scott Steepleton, Editor
11:12 am PDT April 7, 2021

In its “last best” offer for an amicable and fair split from the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, the city of Malibu has proposed a deal that ensures Santa Monica schools will have at least the same per-pupil funding for the coming decade.

District officials, however, have not responded. Unless you consider Superintendent Ben Drati’s appearance at a recent no-split demonstration a response.

“It’s been over a month since Malibu presented its offer,” Malibu City Council member Karen Farrer said in a statement, adding district administrators “persist in saying we walked away from negotiations last spring, when in fact they are the ones who are refusing to compromise.”

The SMMUSD board is holding a closed session on separation on Thursday.

Under Malibu’s proposal, MALIBU, CA) ― In its ongoing effort to create a separate public school district, the City of Malibu has made what it considers a generous “last best” financial offer to ensure that Santa Monica schools will have at least the same per-pupil funding for the coming decade.

"It’s been over a month since Malibu presented its offer and school district administrators haven’t responded or even presented Malibu’s offer to the School Board. They persist in saying we walked away from negotiations last spring, when in fact they are the ones who are refusing to compromise,” said Councilmember Karen Farrer.

Malibu’s offer includes a tax-sharing agreement transferring property tax revenue from Malibu to Santa Monica for up to 10 years in the event the Santa Monica district’s per-pupil funding drips below today’s level of $14,197.

In addition, Santa Monica would retain some $50 million in grants, sales taxes, rental income, redevelopment funds and other income beyond state education funding and property tax sources.

If separation is approved, the state Local Control Funding Formula allocation to Santa Monica remains unchanged.

Malibu has just 14 percent of the students in the SMMUSD, yet Malibu taxpayers have been disproportionately funding the school district budget to the tune of $90 million in property tax revenue — a third of the district budget.

On April 17, the city of Malibu will present to the Los Angeles County Office of Education Committee on School District Organization a petition to split and form its own independent school district.