A long-awaited meeting between the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, the city of Malibu and others over the possibility of an independent Malibu school district could happen in June, Malibu's mayor said this week.
“I’ve already been approached by the superintendent and we are setting up a meeting within the next few weeks to start this process to see if all the interested parties can get together and reach an agreement,” Malibu Mayor Laura Zahn Rosenthal said during the Malibu City Council's regular meeting Monday.
Many Malibu residents say the people of this city and the surrounding unincorporated areas would be better off as part of an independent school district. There are a variety of factors behind this theory, including the belief that the Santa Monica-dominated SMMUSD is less-focused on schools in Malibu than those in Santa Monica.
During its , the school board agreed to meet with representatives from the cities of Malibu and Santa Monica, the school district, the unions, parent groups and Los Angeles county.
The mayor praised the board for agreeing to meet and work on moving forward with studies to determine if the separated school districts could be financially independent.
The district's Chief Financial Officer Jan Maez gave a presentation May 3 showing that two separate school districts in Malibu and Santa Monica could be viable financially based on preliminary and unofficial estimates.
Maez outlined several possibilities going forward, including the preparation of a a feasibility study on state criteria for "unification," the term used by education officials for the process to separate school districts. ()