With discussions related to interdistrict permits, fiscal matters and layoff procedures, Thursday’s Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s board of education meeting is looking like it’ll be a long one.

Shortly after the board receives updates on the district’s special education department and the education foundation, the board is expected to consider revising its interdistrict permit policies, which has been a topic of interest for many community members in recent weeks.

Permits

The board first discussed potentially changing the district’s permit policies in December 2019.

During the discussion, the board asked for a variety of the data and information, the agenda states, including how a freeze on all interdistrict permit categories — except those that relate to children of district, SMC, city of Malibu or Santa Monica employees and the sibling category — would affect stakeholders and the district’s educational programs.

A second discussion was slated to occur at the board’s most recent meeting in February when more than 30 local residents took the dais in Malibu to share their opinions on the prospective changes.

“Since the agenda item had been postponed to the March 5 meeting, those concerns should be considered at this board meeting,” the agenda states.

Unification

Once the discussion on permits has concluded, the board and attendees will have an opportunity to consider voicing formal support for special legislation that’s currently being proposed by the City of Malibu.

The legislation pertains to parcel taxes and the city of Malibu has requested the school district’s formal support, according to district staff.

“It is important to note that a formal board declaration of support of special legislation is not the equivalent of an approval of a unification of a new school district. There are other issues and challenges associated with unification that have yet to be resolved, and the superintendent and district staff are cognizant of the need to resolve these other outstanding issues before a unification proposal could be formally supported by the district,” the agenda states. “Rather, the special legislation is a demonstration of support of a mechanism that could resolve a significant obstacle to the creation of a Malibu Unified School District.”

Budget and layoff procedures

The final items set to be discussed during Thursday night’s meeting pertain to the district’s budget and the prospective release or non-reelection of various employees.

Board Vice President Laurie Lieberman previously stated the resolutions are a preliminary legal requirement that must be adopted in order for the district to move ahead or consider making any reductions in certificated staff.

“So, in theory, this really doesn’t constitute a pink slip to anybody yet,” Lieberman said. And this is something the board has to do because the bottom line is the district can’t pay its teachers if it doesn’t consider the bottom line.

brennon@smdp.com

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