Center’s site is in sight


Flushed with success after wresting $10,000 from the Malibu City Council for the youth foundation she founded, education activist Laure Stern persuaded the Board of Education last Thursday to decide this month on using Malibu High School for a teen center.

Handing the board a list of the Malibu Foundation for Youth and Families board members, Stern said, “It is unprecedented in Malibu to have this kind of support for youth and families. Everyone said that if we don’t have a place for kids to go between 3-8 p.m., we are in trouble.”

Stern, Malibu High School Principal Mike Matthews, and Boys and Girls Club of Santa Monica Executive Director Allan Young, whose organization would run the programs, said teens could be going to after-school programs in modular units on Malibu High grounds this summer if the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District board approves using the space this month. They and Juan Cabrillo Elementary School Principal Pat Cairns told the board how much the Malibu Foundation for Youth and Families project is needed.

“I have taught since 1973 and raised a daughter in Malibu,” Cairns said. “There is definitely a need for kids to have something to do locally. Anywhere else is a long way to go.”

The board is expected to vote on the teen center at its March 15 meeting.

In other action, the board decided to consider using a room in Malibu High School as a city television studio; school district Superintendent Neil Schmidt announced appointments to an Ad Hoc Committee on Parcel Tax Renewal 2000 (a measure for the November ballot); and a pivotal motion needed to accept a $2.1 million city of Santa Monica grant was voted down twice.

City TV

Use of a Malibu High School room as a television studio had been suggested as a condition of the city’s $150,000 grant to the district last month. The city, which would use the station when school is not in session, would convert the room to a “community” (as opposed to a “public access”) station at its own expense and would have control over programming. The board is expected to decide on the studio at its March 15 meeting.

Parcel Tax

The school district superintendent announced the appointment of Webster Elementary School Principal Phil Cott, Lisa Curtis, Webster PTA Co-President Deirdre Roney and Wendy Cary to the ad hoc parcel tax committee. He said the committee would ask voters to renew in November the $73 per parcel tax that brings in $2.3 million a year to fund programs.

Malibu board member Todd Hess said although the money was statutory, it could not be taken for granted. “We have a number of households without children. Part of the reason we are forming the committee is to understand community tolerances.”

Santa Monica funding

The pivotal motion was tied to a condition of Santa Monica’s $2.1 million bailout of the district. The Santa Monica City Council voted to give the money preventing next year’s school cutbacks if the district established an “independent financial oversight committee.” The motion failed when board member Dorothy Chapman’s amendment explicitly calling for committee activities to be held in public and subject to the state’s open meeting law, as worded in Santa Monica’s motion, was rejected twice. It will be considered again March 15.