Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District offices (File photo)

The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District will hold its final meeting of the 2019-2020 academic year this Thursday at 5:30 p.m., and there are a number of items related to the district’s budget as well as social justice work currently underway.

Though safer-at-home restrictions have been eased in the last week, SMMUSD’s board of education will still gather online via Zoom to conduct its business.


This year has been anything but ordinary for many educators and students, but tradition dictates the board recognizes its outgoing teachers who will soon retire at the end of this school year. Some of the educators who are set to be recognized virtually on Thursday have been with the district for nearly 30 years.

The Santa Monica High School girls basketball team is also set to be recognized for its accomplishments this past Spring in the CIF Southern Section playoffs. Outgoing PTA Council president and student board members will also be acknowledged during the meeting.

Update on Social Justice Standards work in SMMUSD

A discussion fit for the times will be had by the board of education and district leaders shortly after the planned recognitions during a study session that will last about 30 minutes, according to Thursday’s agenda.

“The work of implementing the Social Justice Standards is being undertaken by our district’s Teaching and Learning Council, the Social Justice Standards cohorts in Malibu and Santa Monica, and the History-Social Science teachers across the district in grades 6-12,” the agenda states. “This presentation will provide details on what has been accomplished by all three of these groups during the 2019-2020 school year, as well as plans for next year to move the work forward to the next level.”

Preliminary Budget

Shortly after the discussion on the district’s social justice standards, the board is expected to undertake a lengthy discussion on its preliminary General Fund Budget for 2020-21, which will reflect the most recent estimates the district will receive in state and federal funding.

“This includes revenue and expenditure assumptions, the estimated reserve, revenue and expenditure summaries, and multi-year projections,” the agenda states.

The district is currently projected to have an ending fund balance of negative $5.6 million dollars in the 2021-2022 fiscal year.

Superintendent Ben Drati recently said he believes the district has a path forward despite the fiscal situation it finds itself in. He later added the district is entering a new reality because SMMUSD is uncertain how Covid-19 will affect its revenue.

A presentation detailing SMMUSD’s financial information will be attached prior to the meeting, according to the agenda.

The final item of Thursday’s night is an information item, and the board is expected to announce the district has rescinded another 13 pink slips that were given to certificated teachers earlier in the semester.

To view the full agenda, residents can visit the website Those interested in speaking during the public comment portion of the meeting will find directions on how to do so as well.

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