Three Malibu ed activists announce runs for school board

A Malibu citizen group has put forward three candidates to run for the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education. Craig Foster, Seth Jacobson and Karen Farrer pulled papers Wednesday in what is now a seven-member school board race.

If all seven get the 100 signatures required to qualify for the November ballot by Aug. 10, the three Malibu residents will face off against incumbents Jose Escarce, Maria Leon Vazquez and Ben Allen as well as candidate Jake Wachtel, who also ran in 2010.

“AMPS has put forward a slate of candidates for the upcoming SMMUSD board of education open seats,” Jacobson said in an email to The Malibu Times. “We believe that it is critical to help in our efforts to put Malibu’s issues, concerns and opportunities front and center with the board of education.”

Each current member of the Board of Education is a Santa Monica resident. The last Malibu resident to serve on the Board of Education was Kathy Wisnicki, who departed in 2008 after choosing not to run for re-election.

AMPS was formed last year following frustration in the Malibu community dating back to the failed attempt by Malibu parents to convert Point Dume Marine Science School into a charter school. The school board denied a parent group’s attempt at conversion, and the county education office upheld the board’s decision.

AMPS leaders, as well as Malibu Mayor Laura Rosenthal and Mayor Pro Tem Lou La Monte, have been outspoken about the need for Malibu to separate from Santa Monica and form its own school district.

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The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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