Malibu holds public discussion on the Revenue Sharing Agreement in school district separation 

The Malibu City Council is shown Wednesday, April 10, during a special meeting and work session discussing the separation of the Santa Monica/Malibu Unified School District. Photo by Samantha Bravo/TMT

The city will be holding a second workshop on Saturday, April 20, at 10 a.m., location TBD

“I am excited tonight because we have reached a milestone in a very long negotiations process with the Santa Monica-Malibu School District (SMMUSD) school district,” Deputy City Attorney Christine Wood said to start off the special City Council meeting last week. “There’s been a long process of both petitions and presentions before the county committee, but since about 2020, we have been in negotiations with the SMMUSD to negotiate a revenue sharing arrangement of sorts. As a result of what happened last fall, we have formulated and reached a preliminary agreement with the Santa Monica Unified School District around a revenue-sharing arrangement.”

On Wednesday, April 10, The City of Malibu held a special meeting and work session for Malibu residents to gain insights into the revenue-sharing arrangement.

This milestone achievement reflects the commitment of both the City of Malibu and SMMUSD to uphold guiding principles that prioritize equity, fairness, and local control in education. 

Malibu residents and parents attended the meeting in person and through Zoom to ask questions about the report. 

This tentative agreement is subject to approval by the Malibu City Council and the SMMUSD Board of Education. 

The agreement on the revenue-sharing arrangement is a testament to the collaborative spirit and shared vision of the City of Malibu and SMMUSD, the city said in a press release. It represents a significant achievement in the journey toward establishing an independent Malibu Unified School District, one that will provide the community with greater autonomy and decision-making authority over educational policies.

“As we celebrate this milestone, we recognize that there is still work to be done,” the press release says. “However, with continued collaboration and cooperation, we are confident that we will build a stronger foundation for the future of education in both communities. We look forward to further engagement with the community as we move forward in this process.”

The City of Malibu will be holding a second workshop on Saturday, April 20 at 10 a.m. Details regarding the second workshop location will be provided in a subsequent announcement. 

Councilmember Marianne Riggins said the meeting went great for the community and public to see their work, make comments, and provide feedback. 

“We’ve had mediation sessions with the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School Board’s mediation group and their ad-hoc and their board to talk about all the different issues of concerns for both parties,” Riggins said. “We hope to have joint sessions with the Santa Monica Malibu School Board to also share it with more people. Eventually it’s going to come where the school board will have a public meeting to vote on ratification of this, and after they vote on it, then the City Council has a chance to vote on it.”

Some of the concerns raised during the meeting was how will the city will continue this agreement in the future.

“We’re going to have a joint powers authority that will be installed that will be a arbiter if there are disagreements but also to make sure that the term sheet and the revenue-sharing arrangement are all followed through the future,” Riggins said. 

For more information on the City of Malibu’s school separation efforts, please contact Deputy City Manager Alexis Brown at (310) 456-2489, ext .300, email,, or visit SMMUSD’s webpage at may be also be submitted to the SMMUSD “Let’s Talk” portal at