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Santa Monica City Council Backs School Bond Measure

Much of the bond money would fund improvements at Santa Monica High School, while 20 percent of it would go to Malibu schools. Request to endorse the measure made by two council members seeking reelection.

A has the city of Santa Monica's seal of approval.

The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to support the measure, which will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot in Malibu and Santa Monica. Much of the money is dedicated to improvements at Santa Monica High School, if voters approve the measure.

"It's been almost 40 years since there's been any meaningful building at Santa Monica High School—and about five minutes on the campus, it shows," said councilwoman Gleam Davis.

If approved by voters, the general obligation bond would fund facility and technology upgrades across the . Twenty percent would be earmarked for schools in Malibu, but a big chunk of the money would pay for improvements at Santa Monica High School, according to Board of Education President Ben Allen.

He told the council that with , securing the funding is vital. Before , the Community Redevelopment Agency of Santa Monica was poised to revamp the high school with a new classrooms, a student union and art center. 

"We already had about $56 million slated for improvements," Allen said. "There were possible other improvements coming later—all that money is gone."

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The general obligation bond would cost Santa Monica and Malibu property owners $185 per year for up to 30 years (and possibly more in Malibu). The money could not be used to fund salaries for teachers or other employees.

In justifying the council's support, Davis pointed to studies that show modern facilities improve student achievement and classroom performance.

Researchers at University of California, Berkeley, recently completed a study of the Los Angeles Unified School District's school building program—financed by $19.5 billion in voter-approved state and local bonds—that was inconclusive on that front. 

They found construction of 131 new schools over the last decade has helped alleviate overcrowded campuses, giving elementary students a major academic boost—but not high schoolers.

The endorsement of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified bond was made at the request of Davis and Terry O'Day—the .

Glenn E Grab September 01, 2012 at 02:16 AM
John, I don't own a house, but I'm on your side 100%....good for you....
Glenn E Grab September 01, 2012 at 02:17 AM
it'll never change, quit whining....
GSGETSIT September 01, 2012 at 04:01 PM
Someone writting to SMP said arond 80% will go to fixing up the High School and 20% to the schools in Malibu. Is that written into the item we are going to vote upon or is it a HANDSHAKE AMONG THE MEMBERS ON THE BOARD OF EDUCCATION. I still want to see the list of projects and who decided upon the makeup of the list!!
Marianne Riggins September 09, 2012 at 02:46 PM
Prop 13 also allows property owners who have made somewhere their home, raised kids, been members of a community a chance to stay in their homes even if the surrounding properties change value substantially. Take Malibu for example, decades ago many middle class families moved there to enjoy a rural community, without Prop 13 they would be forced to sell their properties because they can't pay the taxes, would that be right?
Jenna Chandler September 21, 2012 at 02:09 AM
Hi Gordon, a much belated response to your request: we're working on getting a list and will publish it once we get it.

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