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

The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education will hold a public Zoom meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday to discuss the 45 day budget revision, Santa Monica and Malibu’s fundraising results, and COVID adaptations for the upcoming school year.

The updated 45 day revision to the 2020-2021 school year budget calls for a $1,311,652 increase in expenditure due to COVID-related spending. After taking into consideration a $593,491 increase in revenue, the new budget will cause an additional $718,160 decrease in the fund balance meaning the remaining fund will decrease from $14,678,938 to $6,775,975 this school year.

$500,000 of the additional cost comes from expenses related to combating COVID-19 and $811,652 comes from the addition of two professional development days at the beginning of the school year to prepare teachers for distance learning. The agenda proposes adding these professional development days on Aug 20 and 21, meaning the school year will now start on Aug 24 and end on June 11, 2021.

The additional professional development time is part of the Memorandum of Understanding established between SMMUSD and the Santa Monica-Malibu Classroom Teachers Association in light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The recommended motion on the agenda is to approve the MOU, which also addresses changes to employee health benefits and collective bargaining.

The meeting will also feature recommendations from the Financial Oversight Committee and fundraising updates from the Santa Monica Education Foundation and centralized fundraising in Malibu.

The Financial Oversight committee will present its annual report on budget recommendations, tax revenue and assessed valuation, review of Prop YY and GSH projects, financial benefits of sustainability, special education and bond oversight. The Santa Monica Education Foundation will discuss the $2,068,155 raised for 2020-21 programs in Santa Monica. The report on centralized funding in Malibu will present on the $35,981 raised for Malibu High School and $301,562 raised for Webster & Malibu Elementary.

In an effort to increase district funding, a major action item on the agenda states, “It is recommended that the Board or Education adopt Resolution No. 20-03 – Endorsing Proposition 15, the California Schools and Local Communities Funding Act of 2020, on the ballot November 3, 2020.” This ballot initiative would require commercial and industrial properties to be taxed on their market value as opposed to their purchase price. The portion of this revenue dedicated to school districts would provide $4.5 billion annually for K-14 schools in California, according to SMMUSD’s resolution to endorse the act.

The board will also vote on renewing Resolution No. 20-02, declaring an emergency and allowing the Superintendent to enter into contracts to address the spread of COVID-19.

“The circumstances of the emergency necessitate that required contract and other actions related to the emergency be let without a competitive solicitation for bids to respond to the emergency. This authorization will be used to purchase materials and procure services to reopen the schools. The emergency and timelines require action that accelerates the typical required bid/procurement process,” the agenda states.

Members of the public who wish to make a public comment at the upcoming meeting can do so by completing a Google survey “sign up”. The survey can be found online at and will be open 30 minutes prior to the meeting.