SMMUSD HDQTRS — The Board of Education voted Thursday to allow new permit students into the district, including grandchildren of Santa Monica residents who have lived in the area for more than five years.

Adding 100 new students through interdistrict permits would help increase the district population, which has been slowly slipping downward over the past few years, district officials said.

Officials hope that ending the moratorium on new permits for certain grades will bring in extra cash needed to balance the district’s books at a time when the state government is cutting money to schools.

In a report to the school board, district staff said increasing the number of students enrolled by 170 would mean an additional $876,213 from the state. Subtract the costs of four new teaching positions ($80,000), supplies and materials ($8,500) needed to cover those kids, the projected net gain pencils out to $547,713, according to figures provided by the district.

Children of district employees, children of parents who work within the district boundaries and children of City Hall or Santa Monica College employees will get priority, as will international high school students.

Board members added another category — grandchildren of residents who have lived in the district for more than five years.

Board President Ben Allen championed the inclusion, reasoning that those residents also vote for supportive measures like bonds and parcel taxes.

Staff resisted it, saying that it would be complicated for permit applicants to prove, and difficult for staff to enforce.

ashley@www.smdp.com

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