Letter: School Independence Needed

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Letter to the Editor

In reference to Cynthia Kesselman’s letter last week regarding Malibu’s public schools, I think it is very much to the cost of Malibu’s students that the debate about various improvement projects at MHS is being fought retroactively, in lawsuits and regulatory appeals. [Response to letter titled “Fund facts,” published Sept. 19] 

I strongly believe that in an independent Malibu school district, our community would have the chance to work out these competing interests in advance. When a school board in another town governs the process, it is much easier for neighborhood issues to spill into unnecessarily large controversies. 

Local control of our schools is exactly about the questions you raise. A Malibu school district that mirrors the strengths of our community will compete more effectively with other local education alternatives. Not only that, it will attract exactly the kind of new residents that make for strong communities-young families who share our appreciation for 21st century education. I think there is little question that Malibu’s public school enrollment will grow, not shrink, under local control. 

I share your belief that clean and well cared for facilities are fundamental to the kind of schools we all want for our city’s children. I believe that the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District does its best, but I can’t help thinking, as you do, that together we could do a better job.

I deeply appreciate your support for and membership in AMPS. I wish for you, your colleagues, and all participants a speedy and wise resolution of your concerns. 

Craig Foster, President, Advocates for Malibu Public Schools (AMPS)