MALIBU/SANTA MONICA—The city of Malibu and the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SM-MUSD) jointly settled on a detailed framework and process to pursue the separation of the two territories into two separate unified school districts: Santa Monica Unified and Malibu Unified.

A press release from the city of Malibu indicated the framework emerged after months of mediation and joint meetings between the parties dating back to April of this year.

The details of the framework and process are spelled out in a Term Sheet document available on the website.

Highlights of the framework include:

  1. A conceptual financial model to insure both districts maintain sufficient revenue and revenue growth to provide the same or greater level of educational programs to students in both territories.
  2. A description of agreements that the City and the District will need to finalize, including a tax-sharing agreement, operations agreement, and joint powers agreement, to fully implement the unification.
  3. The pursuit of special legislation to assist in the implementation of the unification.
  4. A detailed timeline of the process.

“This process we’ve identified reflects countless hours of negotiations and hard work on both sides,” Jon Kean, SM-MUSD Board Member, said. “Unification has been discussed, debated and pursued many times over the last few decades. The commitment by both sides to move forward under this framework represents the first time that we have been able to mutually agree upon an equitable financial model. While there is work left to do, we have reached an historic moment in this process.”

“After years of hard work and negotiations, we finally have a viable framework for an independent Malibu Unified School District,” Malibu Mayor Paul Grisanti said. “We would not be here without the hard work, dedication, and compromise made by the District and the City’s negotiating teams. Now that the Term Sheet has been accepted by both the SM-MUSD Board of Education and the Malibu City Council, I am hopeful that the process and framework set forth will guide us to the ultimate goal of two separate school districts.”

There will be opportunities for public feedback and input as progress is made by both parties. Additional public engagement on this process is expected to begin at the start in the new calendar year.