City, SMMUSD Jointly Confirm Progress On District Divorce, After Blowing Past April 15th Deadline

Written by on May 15, 2023

Santa Monica school and Malibu city officials today issued a joint statement that reaffirms what KBUU reported last week – steady progress is being made on the school district divorce.

A Malibu assistant city attorney said Monday night that Santa Monica has made a major financial concession… and is no longer demanding a huge chunk of future Malibu tax revenue for the next 30 years.

Today … the joint city/SMMUSD statement said they had missed their self-imposed April 15 “Term Sheet” deadline to reach a financial agreement, control agreement, and property split. “The Term Sheet identified a goal of finalizing three agreements by April 15, 2023, but clarification of additional details will be required to accurately   reflect the agreement between the parties.

Last Monday … assistant city attorney Christine Wood told the Malibu city council last night that progress is slower than hoped for … but still being made … to get the Bu out of the SMMUSD. 


“Although none of the agreements have been finalized, it is important to know that there are some very key terms that have been agreed upon.

“First each successor  school districts will retain all local revenues that had been generated in their respective territory.

“That was something that had not really been agreed upon before, so that is a (new) agreed-upon financial term.”

But Malibu will guarantee that Santa Monica will get some Malibu property tax revenue … with a limit.


“We will provide the Malibu Unified School District will provide a minimum annual guarantee growth factor of four percent for the future Santa Monica Unified School District.”

Assistant City Attorney Christine Wood says the timetable that Malibu and Santa Monica has slipped a bit … 

But the financial and legal terms being negotiated are very complex … and she says Santa Monica is acting in good faith to get the Bu out of the Santa Monica district.

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