Letter: Education bond money comes home

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The new $385 million bond measure, Proposition ES, is not without major flaws. However, I will be voting “yes” on Nov. 6 for three reasons. One, Samohi is clearly in need of major structural reconstruction and a failed ES will prevent those renovations from being made. So long as we are in SMMUSD, we need to be concerned about the welfare of all the students in the district and supporting these projects at SAMOHI is the right thing to do. 

Two, 20% of this bond is set aside in a legally binding guarantee to be spent in Malibu. The funds that will be spent in Malibu from district-wide projects like classroom technology improvements and related training. 

Finally, and most important to my “yes” vote, I expect the SMMUSD school board to approve the creation of a Malibu Super Site Committee in their Nov. 1 meeting. This committee will be 100% Malibuites and will represent a broad cross section of school site committees and other educational and geographic stakeholders, including, of course, unincorporated Malibu. This committee will decide how Malibu’s $77 million will be spent. It will have the resources (project managers, architects, etc) to make fully executable plans. It will pass those plans to the larger Measure ES committee. Most importantly, if those plans are changed by the larger committee, the plans will be returned to Malibu’s committee for reconsideration. No plan will be submitted to the school board until it meets the Malibu Super Site Committee’s approval in its final form. 

How, when, and if we choose to spend Malibu’s guaranteed share of the bond will be up to us, by law and by board policy. That’s a huge step forward and, along with SAMOHI’s clear need for renovation, just reason enough for me to vote yes on ES. 

Craig Foster, Advocates for Malibu Public Schools president