MALIBU—Malibu residents are lobbying for a division in the Malibu-Santa Monica School District.
The split, which would give the more affluent Malibu area it’s very own school district has been opposed in Santa Monica, which claims approximately 85 percent of the district’s residents.
Santa Monica is also home to all seven of the district’s school board members, another obstacle in Malibu‘s quest for educational autonomy.
The movement has gained momentum in recent weeks following the efforts of Craig Foster, a Malibu resident and retired Wall Street executive that is presenting a new argument for the split.
Foster has attempted to sway public opinion in his neighboring beach community by presenting the split as mutually beneficial for both communities, estimating that ownership of its own school district would gain Santa Monica $1.9 million annually.
If passed, the division could serve as a template for other predominantly white, upper-middle class communities that have expressed recent desire to divide from their racially diverse, lower-income neighbors.
Opposition of Foster’s ideas reflect on the 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court case, arguing that such re-districting keeps segregation present in the current society.
In order to pass, 25 percent of the effected populace must sign a petition presented to the Los Angeles County Office of Education and the California State Board of Education. If that were to occur, an official vote could be taken on the issue, a legislative process that could take several years.