Santa Monica School Board Rejects Malibu’s Last Divorce Offer – Says In Effect They Don’t Trust The County

Written by on April 16, 2021



The Santa Monica School Board met behind closed doors this morning … and rejected the latest Malibu school district divorce offer by a 5-2 vote.

“Incredibly disappointed” said board member Craig Foster.

The Santa Monica School Board met behind closed doors this morning … and rejected the latest Malibu school district divorce offer by a 5-2 vote.

“Incredibly disappointed” said board member Craig Foster.

No explanations were given by the Santa Monica majority … during th meeting.

Later in the day … they put out a statement.

“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 what both sides have publicly stated they want; an equitable separation.

‘To do otherwise would be an abdication of our responsibility to act in the best interests of our students,’ Kean said.

‘We continue to support the concept of unification, as long as it is equitable for both territories, but we will not relinquish our authority to ensure a fair outcome in the process,’ Kean said.

‘We again reiterate our desire to work cooperatively with the City and re-extend an invitation to the City to return to the negotiating table with the district.’ “

Although a statement was eventually put out, the discussions on the matter were cloaked in the secrecy of an executive session. State law allows political agencies to meet in secret to discuss lawsuits … but not to discuss political matters.

The one board member from Malibu … Craig Foster … said he was “incredibly disappointed.”


“Malibu made a brave and open-hearted gesture to settle this mater smoothly, quickly and in the interest of all the kids,” Foster told KBUU after the meeting.

“Trusting the county committee is exactly what we should be doing here, this is what they do for a living,. they will protect our kids and they will protect Santa Monica kids.

“The fact that the school board did not see its way clear to doing that is disappointing, disturbing and heartbreaking.”

One week ago … the school board said it would agree to let the county determine budgets … and potential alimony payments from Malibu to Santa Monica.

But that concession was predicated on Malibu dropping the petition for a hearing …. set for tomorrow.

Late Friday, Malibu mayor Mikke Pierson said Santa Monica choose to reject a “reasonable” settlement offer.

“The City has repeatedly made it clear that we do not want to see any student harmed by the long-overdue separation of this discontinuous school district yet SM-MUSD continues to be unreasonable while our Malibu students continue to be harmed,” Pierson said.

“I look forward to going before the LACOE County Committee of School District Separation tomorrow and explaining to them why it’s time for Malibu to have its own school district and encourage all Malibu residents to do the same.”

So the hearing is on … a Saturday morning of lawyers arguments and public testimony.

What to expect???

The city’s assistant city attorney … Christine Wood … explained it to parents two nights ago 2


“At 9:30 when the meeting starts … the county committee will start with an introduction followed with 20 minutes presentations by first the city and then the district.

“The city will not have an opportunity to rebut.

“And then the county committee will hear about 120 minutes of public … 60 minutes from those in favor .,.,.and 60 minutes against the petition.”

The meeting starts at 9:30 … Christine Woods says … but don’t be fooled.

The Santa Monica contingent will be there early to flood the Zoomroom.


“It has been very clear to us … that the district … who is a formidable foe on this effort … the district has been very very strategic in telling their constituents that ther meeting starts at 9.

“The meeting officially starts at 9:30.

“But they have been consistent in telling their constituents that it starts at 9 o’clock.

“I only point that out because I do not want any of you to be left out and unable to get into the Zoomroom in order to be heard and to participate.”

Perhaps the best way to make comments is in writing.

Videos may be sent in …. but realistically … the meeting is tomorrow and there are not thast many hours in the day for the committee to get them and view them.

So … what will the committee do???

There was a dispute between Malibu and the county … over what the upshot will be.

The county at one point was contending that this is Malibu’s only chance to prove its case.

The city’s lawyers were contending that this is only the first step … the numerous financial audits … environmental impact reports … and other lengthy reports have to be undertaken.

If all goes Malibu’s way … under the very rosiest possible scenario .,.. it may take three years for an independent Malibu school district to arise.


[There are no radio stations in the database]