Divorce school from Santa Monica

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Teacher’s union president Harry Keiley wants Malibu and Santa Monica to “stick together” and “work through our differences”? How nice. I’m sure King George said something similar around July 5, 1776. Surely this couldn’t be, couldn’t have anything to do with the fact that negotiating a contract with one district is a lot easier than negotiating with two… could it?

I opposed Prop BB from day one, and not because I hate kids. The existence of the Santa Monica/Malibu Unified School District undermines our democracy. It’s that simple. This latest toss-up over funding is just further proof that we are again at the mercy of an external entity. In 1990 it was L.A. County. Now it’s Santa Monica. No other district in the state is comprised of two non-contiguous communities, much less two communities with such intense demographic differences and priorities. Our growing population disparity guarantees that Malibu’s election clout will continue to diminish with each passing year. Santa Monica voters can already have their way with Malibu. They can impose any school board candidates they want and literally demand any amount of money from Malibu any time they want, and use it any way they want. In all school matters, we are at the mercy of Santa Monica voters. If Malibu parents want anything for their kids or their schools, their only option is to schlep into Santa Monica, throw a tantrum before the School Board and pray that it works. Does that sound like representative democracy? It’s just good fortune that we have Kathy Wisnicki as our lone voice on the board-but the odds against us ever again getting a representative on the board are well shy of zero. In the days when Samohi was our only high school, a Malibu Unified School District wasn’t viable. Now that we have Malibu High, it is. We no longer need Santa Monica. We must not be their cash cow. Let’s end the madness and make this divorce final.

Wade Major