This week on the city observed, on public radio 99.1 KBU and select websites everywhere, it is the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School Board observed, and what I see is ugly.
I see a board dominated by a duplicitous majority including a compromised member representing a sanctimonious city of Santa Monica treating Malibu like an enslaved colony.
Need we be reminded about the unprecedented distance and differences between the two cities, separated by a 20 mile stretch of a tortuous highway, one a rural seacoast village, the other a swelling suburban city, and that stated again and again is the democratic imperative and moral certitude of the separation.
It also has been repeatedly revealed that in the allocation of funds for instruction and facilities, Malibu schools have been flagrantly shortchanged; that for decades Malibu has been treated like an abused cash cow for a prospering Santa Monica hiding behind a veil of self aggrandizing liberalism.
The latest not unexpected abuse of good faith by the board’s bullies is at long last to approve separating Malibu’s pubic school from the Santa Monica dominated district, which would allow Malibu to create a stand alone school district.
Yes! But then the board tacked on to its approval an unreasonable list of conditions, topped by the utterly ridiculous demand for Malibu to pay alimony for 50 years to the amount that has been calculated to top 10 billion dollars.
That is not a mistake. That is a B, as in blasphemous, black hearted, and downright bad. School funding, property taxes, local government, indeed everything can change over the course of years, If anything, it is an example of the board’s pigheadedness.
And while the schools in Santa Monica and their self serving Santa Monica based bureaucracy continue to suck cash subsidies out of Malibu, the board wants to hold more talks to dot the “Is”s and cross the “Ts” of the divorce agreement.
The estimate is that the agreement just may take up to 7 years to resolve, and also require an act of the state legislature.
The school board also has added a condition demanding Malibu drop its appeal to the county to alternatively seek the divorce, contending that the protracted negotiations in effect have failed.
In my opinion, they most certainly have.
It is time for Malibu’s to stop trying to be reasonable, and say good bye and good luck to the recalcitrant board, and start lobbying the county to break the oppressive chains to Santa Monica. It already has filed papers. Let’s get that effort rolling.
As one of the richest cities in California, Santa Monica should work out its own school financing, without holding Malibu ransom and punishing its students.
This I feel has become not only an educational matter, but also a civil rights issue.