LETTER: Malibu Needs to be Included in Bond Measure Discussion

Craig Foster, president for Advocates for Malibu Public Schools, outlines his concerns about the local bond measure, which will go before a board of education on Aug. 1.

Dear Superintendent Lyon and School Board,

It is difficult for us to know where to stand on the question of the proposed school bond.

In spite of offers to serve, there was no AMPS representative on the Feasibility Committee. In fact, there was no representative of Malibu on the Feasibility Committee at all. No Feasibility Committee meetings were held in Malibu. The only informational meeting held by the District took place in Santa Monica. And yet, Malibu would be paying in excess of 31 percent of this bond, as we have done on each prior bond. We will get back a fraction of what is spent, as we have done, in aggregate, on all prior bonds.

We have been told that Malibu does not vote to support bonds because Malibu does not support its schools. We believe the explanation is very different. We believe that Malibu does not vote to support bonds issued by and for the Santa Monica school district.

If you want our support, you need to give us reasons to give you that support. You need to reach out to us. You need to give us a persuasive value proposition and then ask for our support. You have completely failed to do any of that.

Our natural inclination is to support the district in which our schools find themselves, including this bond issue. However, as it currently stands, we are skeptical at best as to the benefits to Malibu of such a bond.

If you wish to have Malibu’s support, you need to ask for that support on our soil and in our timeframe. The board meets in two weeks in Malibu. Our strong suggestion is that this be a discussion item on that agenda as it is tonight in Santa Monica and that the advocates of this bond muster their best arguments as to why this bond, which we will pay over 31 percent of for the next 20-30 years is in the best interests of Malibu.

Thanks for your consideration.
Craig Foster
President, Advocates for Malibu Public Schools

R Y A N July 19, 2012 at 04:10 PM
To start, SMMUSD should release Malibu schools from the double taxation (Gift Tax) on local donations to local schools. Malibu gifts supplant what these bonds disproportionally have taken away from Malibu for decades. Superintendent Deasy didn't have the full picture when he proposed the addition of this Gift Tax a decade ago. Because the Gift Tax exempts certain existing groups (SAMOHI Band, right?) the the program is clearly a money grab. No parcel tax will ever pass until SMMUSD ends this scheme -- because it is wrong.
Steve Scheinkman August 06, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Craig- the % that Malibu pays in is closer to above 35% based on recent property assessment rolls. And many Malibu residents would like to know why teachers, school staff and programs are being cut without similar or greater cuts at the District office.


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