Potential Malibu Unified School District

Background

Since before Malibu's incorporation, Malibu youth and children attended schools within the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD). In recent years, school families and community groups in Malibu have expressed the desire to separate from SMMUSD to form a separate Malibu Unified School District (MUSD). Among reasons for separated expressed by Malibu residents is the concern that Malibu is not adequately represented by the SMMUSD Board of Education, and that the needs of Malibu schools and their students differ greatly from those of their counterpart schools in Santa Monica, resulting in differing opinions on how district-wide funding should be raise, approved, and allocated.

City Actions

Malibu City Council actions taken to begin the process of forming the MUSD include:

  • September 16, 2015: Adopted Resolution No. 15-60 authorizing transmission of a petition for unification of a Malibu Unified School District to the Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools.
  • November 23, 2015: Authorized the Mayor to send a letter to SMMUSD Board of Education requesting that it place an item on an upcoming agenda, as quickly as possible, in support of placing the unification of a MUSD on the ballot for the next available SMMUSD election and in support of forming a committee to settle SMMUSD separation
  • December 14, 2015: Referred to the City Manager selection of community members to be recommended to the SMMUSD Board of Education for appointment to a new committee expected to be established by the Board, which will be tasked with negotiating the terms for splitting SMMUSD into two separate school districts
  • January 2016: Ratified formation of the Malibu Unification Negotiations Committee (MUNC), which was also ratified by the SMMUSD Board of Education. The MUNC would engage in negotiations in an effort to resolve financial concerns regarding unification of a separate MUSD. MUNC included three members appointed by the Malibu City Manager (Laura Rosenthal, Manel Sweetmore, and Makan Delrahim (resigned January 2016)), and three appointed by the SMMUSD Board of Education (Tom Larmore, Debbie Mulvaney, and Paul Silvern).
  • August 28, 2017: Directed the City Manager to submit the petition to the Los Angeles County Committee on School District Organization as authorized by Resolution No. 15-60. 
  • November 29, 2017: Revised the City’s school district separation petition to: 1) Consider a reasonable financial proposal for an orderly transition period; 2) Consider adding a “by district voting” component; and 3) Authorize requesting the Los Angeles County Committee on School District Organization to postpone the preliminary meeting to discuss the City’s petition for unification of a MUSD until after February 15, 2018, as requested by the SMMUSD Board of Education.
  • April 9, 2018: 1) Directed staff to send a letter to the Los Angeles County Office of Education requesting formal acceptance of the City’s petition for the unification of a Malibu Unified School District and, once accepted, temporarily suspend further actions pending the outcome of negotiation efforts with Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD); 2) Designated the City Manager and City Attorney to pursue negotiations with SMMUSD under the guidance of the School District Separation Ad Hoc Committee; and 3) Accepted, in principle, the framework for school district separation recommended by the SMMUSD Board of Education at its March 20, 2018 meeting.