The Santa Monica-Malibu Board of Education has already been told that splitting the local school district is feasible. Now it’s time to delve a little deeper.

During its meeting Thursday at district headquarters, the school board is prepared to discuss potential next steps for separating SMMUSD into Santa Monica and Malibu entities.

The board’s discussion will follow a presentation by the Financial Oversight Committee about the budgetary consequences of splitting the district.

In July, the board heard from the committee about the possible impacts of separation, which was deemed viable. Since then, though, the committee has been tasked with analyzing a possible split based on new calculations for state revenue.

Members of the finance committee, which met Nov. 12, will present new information to the board. Sample budgets for distinct Santa Monica and Malibu districts have been drafted.

The separation movement has gained momentum in recent months as Malibu parent groups have expressed frustration over board representation, the district’s handling of chemical testing and cleanup at Malibu schools and the recently implemented centralized fundraising system. At least some separation efforts have been led by Advocates for Malibu Public Schools.

The group’s former president, current school board member Craig Foster, lobbied at the Nov. 5 board meeting for a resolution to be drafted and considered.

A resolution submitted by Foster states that Santa Monica and Malibu “have become distinct communities very different from one another” and that Santa Monica has become a dense urban community while Malibu “has strived to maintain its rural character.”

The resolution states that the Malibu district would be responsible for environmental remediation stemming from the discovery of polychlorinated biphenyls about two years ago at Malibu schools.

“Board leadership and staff believe that a full discussion of Mr. Foster’s resolution should take place in the context of a broader discussion about potential next steps,” an agenda addendum reads.

New purchase orders

The board will consider approval of nearly $1.1 million in new purchase orders and facility improvements.

The list of more than $548,000 in new purchase orders includes more than $160,000 to a variety of vendors for supplemental educational services.

Also included on the proposed list are more than $70,000 for student counseling services; more than $28,000 to Sea Clear Pools for pool pump replacement in Malibu; $26,500 to Digital Dragon for computer services at John Adams Middle School; more than $26,000 to Santa Monica Ford for a new vehicle for the facility maintenance department; $18,000 for staff development at Franklin Elementary School; and $16,000 to Melinda Fornero for dance instruction.

Meanwhile, facility improvements totaling about $548,000 are also expected to be approved by the board.

The bulk of that sum is a Measure ES-funded $479,000 payment to Bakersfield-based IVS Computer Technology. There’s also a Measure BB-backed payment of nearly $45,000 to Miracle Recreation for playground structures at Edison Language Academy.

jeff@www.smdp.com