Letter from SMMUSD, SMMCTA, and SEIU to District Employees, June 18, 2012

Draft Joint Communiqué re Malibu redistricting efforts

Dear Employees of Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District,

As most of you know, a proposal has been brought to the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education regarding an effort to create a separate Malibu Unified School District.  The Board has taken no action regarding this proposal. We know there is discussion about this in our school communities and wanted to send this joint communiqué to ensure we are keeping employees up-to-date on the status of the proposition and how the District is involved in the process.

At the May 3 Board meeting, CFO Jan Maez presented some initial budgetary implications to the Board of Education as they would relate to a separately proposed Malibu Unified School District. After the presentation, the Board of Education directed staff to move forward with the analyses proposed at the conclusion of Ms. Maez’s presentation in which Ms. Maez outlined next  steps:

  • Contract for a feasibility study on unification (the term used when a new district is formed from an existing district)
  • Contract for preparation of detailed budget documents
  • Preparation of detailed property tax allocations to verify distribution of property taxes
  • Explore legislation and poll voter responses to spot legislation on bonded indebtedness and parcel taxes.

None of the proposed studies/polls will be paid for by the District, but will be funded by AMPS (Advocates for Malibu Public Schools). At the Board meeting the Superintendent suggested that Board President Allen, Mayor Rosenthal, an AMPS representative, Ms. Maez, the Superintendent and representatives of SEIU and SMMCTA meet to discuss next steps.

An initial meeting with the above mentioned parties as well as two additional Board members was held to discuss the next step proposals.  At the meeting it was determined that AMPS would pay for the feasibility study and that the provider would be determined in agreement with Ms. Maez and Craig Foster, president of AMPS.

We want everyone to understand the creation of any new district must adhere to the process and criteria outlined in the District Organization guidelines provided by the CDE. It is, at the very best, a lengthy process.  There are nine criteria the petitioning body must address and these would be examined in the feasibility study:

1)     Number of Pupils (must be at least 1501)

2)     Substantial Community Identity

3)     Division of Property

4)     Discrimination or Segregation

5)     Cost to State

6)     Educational Programs of Existing and Proposed Districts

7)     School Housing Costs

8)     Property Values

9)     Fiscal management or Fiscal Status

Detailed info about these can be found at the CDE website : http://www.cde.ca.gov/ds/si/ds/reorg.asp

The feasibility study, which will be paid in full by AMPS, will give AMPS, the District, SEIU and SMMCTA representatives information regarding the impact and implications of a unification.  When the study is complete (estimated to be no less than 3 months from now) the group will meet again to examine the study’s findings.

We want all employees to understand  the Board has not taken a position on the proposal. The purpose of this feasibility study and any other future analyses is to inform the Board, employees and the community regarding this matter. When there is new information to report, we will again send information to our employees.  Our goal is to keep you informed and for all employees to understand   we are in the information-gathering stage; no determinations as to the viability of the proposal or any details about the proposal have been made. All of this will take time and there will be no immediate determinations.

If you have further questions, you may contact the Superintendent’s Office, or your SEIU or SMMCTA representative.

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