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The original item was published from 4/14/2021 5:50:24 PM to 4/28/2021 12:05:01 PM.

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Posted on: April 14, 2021

[ARCHIVED] PRESS RELEASE - City Council Acts to Reach Settlement with SM-MUSD for School Separation

PRESS RELEASE school separation 4.14.21 newsflash

In its ongoing effort to create an independent Malibu Unified School District, the Malibu City Council held a Special Meeting on April 14, 2021, to ratify its counter-proposal sent to the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SM-MUSD) on April 13, 2021. In its April 9, 2021, counter offer, the District agreed that Malibu needed its own school district, but stated the only remaining issue was how to accomplish a “fair and equitable” split. On April 14, the City took decisive action to resolve this issue.

“I am encouraged by the District’s acknowledgement that it is time to separate our schools. Despite the accusations made by SM-MUSD, the City has repeatedly made it clear that we do not want to see any student harmed by the long-overdue separation of this discontinuous school district,” Mayor Mikke Pierson said. “We previously offered a 10-year revenue sharing model, and in this same spirit, we welcome the school finance experts at LACOE and their consultants at School Services of California to establish the financial terms of separation so that the financial terms are fair to all. We urge the District to agree and go with us hand-in-hand to LACOE on April 17 so that we can move forward with the separation that we both agree is necessary. We want to move as expeditiously as possible so that no more Malibu students are harmed by the lack of local control over Malibu schools.” 

On March 12, 2021, after hearing the District make new public overtures in support of separation, the City of Malibu proposed a tax-sharing agreement that would transfer property tax revenue from Malibu to Santa Monica for up to 10 years in the event SM-MUSD’s per-pupil funding dips below its current level. In addition, the proposal also identified $50 million in other local funding (grants, sales taxes, rental income, redevelopment funds, and parent/business donations) that SM-MUSD receives each year beyond state education funding and property tax sources which Santa Monica will be able to retain in separation. 

On April 8, 2021, SM-MUSD held a Special Meeting and discussed the City’s petition in closed session. The following day on April 9, 2021, the SM-MUSD provided the City with a response to its March 12 offer. 

On April 13, 2021 the City’s Ad Hoc Committee on School Separation directed the City Attorney to respond to the SM-MUSD with a reasonable settlement offer, and on April 14, the City Council ratified that settlement offer. Since the financial terms of separation appear to be the only issue remaining and the City understands that the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) and their consultant, School Services of California, are well-suited to determine fair and equitable financial terms for separation, the City proposes that LACOE and School Services of California develop the financial terms of separation. The City urges SM-MUSD to agree to be bound to the financial terms to be developed by LACOE and School Services and to go on record that it supports Malibu’s petition to create an independent Malibu Unified School District. The City’s counter proposal to SM-MUSD is available to view at: 


To avoid any additional delays to the City’s effort to form an independent MUSD and prevent any additional harm to Malibu students, the City is proceeding with its petition. On Saturday, April 17, the City of Malibu will present to LACOE’s Committee on School District Organization a petition to split from SM-MUSD and form its own independent school district. The preliminary feasibility study shows convincingly that students in both Santa Monica and Malibu will benefit by having separate school districts.


For more information, visit the Malibu Unified School District web page at