Wrong direction for schools


I am certain that a generation from now we Malibuites will look back at education in the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School System, as it is practiced today, and wonder how we could have tolerated anything so prehistoric.

Let me give you a few nippy examples: Students engaged in criminal conduct to be housed in Malibu. The “Santa Monica Mirror” has an excellent article about Superintendent of Schools John Deasy, imposing a freeze on school spending despite millions of dollars in additional property tax money the voters have approved over the last several years. Then, there is the SMMUSD Board’s discussion of the establishment of a community day school. “The SMMUSD Board perceives the community day school as a flexible component of a comprehensive effort to meet the needs of expelled and other “at risk” students throughout Los Angeles County.”

Why should Malibu schools have to take in students expelled from schools throughout all of Los Angeles County? The way I read it that means gang members expelled for assaults, guns, drug dealing, etc. Is the SMMUSD School Board senseless? Can you imagine placing those lawbreakers in a Malibu School cottage at one of the elementary schools or Malibu High School? The transfer students could join the “Malibu Locals Only” gang and bring a new “way of life” to Malibu.

The “Argonaut” has an article about increasing the number of transfer students to the SMMUSD because there is some room in kindergarten through 3rd grade and possibly 4th and 5th grade. Which schools have room is not identified in the commentary. However the article states that a student given a permit can stay until high school graduation. The dilemma is the SMMUSD middle schools and high schools are already overcrowded. So what will happen at the middle schools and high schools when the new transfer students move on to overcrowded middle and high schools? Malibuites already have 17 percent of the SMMUSD student body as transfer students from outside the area that Malibuites are paying dearly for. If the transfer student needs special education and the SMMUSD cannot provide it, the SMMUSD must pay, by law, for private school education. Santa Monica Renters Rights Conservatives, who are pushing these concepts, are foolish in their promoting the idea that Malibuites have endless riches.

The ity of Santa Monica is building 200 new multi-family low-income housing units, which, according to demographics, should bring about 600 new students to the School District. If the middle and high schools in Santa Monica are overcrowded now it looks like these students will be bused daily to Malibu!

I am a scholar of evenhandedness. For 16 or so years in lower school and college I was forced to be quiet by authoritarian teachers and thus graduated with a lot to say, a memory of words and ideas, and a sense of right and wrong. The educational path that John Deasy and the school district is headed for is wrong.

And that is all I have to say (sure)

Tom Fakehany