City Encourages Public Comment at School Board Meeting Thursday

The City of Malibu issued a statement on Thursday afternoon, Aug. 19, urging community members to weigh in on a video circulated by the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) earlier this week.

The video, which the city called “a highly produced … piece of political propaganda” urges district parents to oppose Malibu’s decades-long effort for an independent school district. According to the city’s statement, the video is “filled with numerous distorted facts and numbers, half-truths, and highly debatable projections about school district funding, all paid for with school district taxpayer money, a portion of which comes from Malibu families.”

The video claims that, should separation occur, “the proposed division would negatively affect the most vulnerable students in the district,” including cuts to programs for “special education students, English learners, at-risk students and more.” The SMMUSD video—ostensibly paid for with taxpayer funds from both Malibu and Santa Monica—calls the division “inequitable and unjust.”

Malibu’s statement countered those arguments, writing, “The truth is that federal law requires that a school district provide services to vulnerable populations and the federal government provides dedicated funding for them. SM-MUSD will not see any reduction in the amount of funding for these programs on a per-student basis as a result of the proposed separation.” (The City of Malibu began stylizing “SMMUSD” as “SM-MUSD” earlier this year.)

Community members were encouraged to tune in for the meeting and/or voice their opposition to the video. The SMMUSD meeting was scheduled for 5 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 19, with public comments accepted beginning at 4:30 p.m.

The video can be viewed at:

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