School board passes 11th hour budget

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With just under a half hour left until their legal deadline ended at midnight, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District unanimously approved Thursday evening a $114.9 million operating budget for the 2011-2012 school year. The district’s general fund is projected at about $3.2 million less than that for 2010-2011.

More than 3 hours of the meeting featured an emotional and powerful discussion between board members and the public over an alleged hate crime from May 4, when two white Santa Monica High School students were said to have tied up a black member of their wrestling team. Board members agreed to implement new measures of fostering relations between minority students and the community, under the guidance of new superintendent Sandra Lyon. She replaced on July 1 Tim Cuneo, who officially retired from his post after the meeting.