For the 2016 – 2017 school year, SMMUSD has total revenue of $100,088,426 with expenditures of $112,437,985 leaving the district with a $12.3 million deficit.
According to the presentation, 86% of the budget goes to SMMUSD employees costs including salaries and benefits. Between 2015/16 and 2016/17, SMMUSD provided a combined salary schedule increase in excess of 8%. Health and welfare costs have increased between 5% and 6% each year. Lastly pension costs continue to increase and will exceed 19% and 24% by 2020.
Now because we have the inefficient administrative performance, we have to cut, cut and cut.” said Santa Monica Resident Berenice Onofre.
See Link to News Article:
Transparent California released data which shows that employees of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District are overpaid by as much as 40 percent.
See pdf copy of all SMMUSD salaries:
Transparent California is a tax-exempt Nevada Policy Research Institute (NPRI), which describes itself as “a free-market think tank that seeks private solutions to public challenges.”
It was also noted that many of the SMMUSD teachers’ salaries for 2015 “far exceed” Santa Monica’s median household income of $74,534. The median household income data is the most recent reported by the U.S. Census for 2014.
The database provided in the press release listed former SMMUSD Superintendent Sandra Lyons’ total pay and benefits as $284,028.
In addition, Transparent California calls out the superintendent of the Ontario-Montclair School District with total pay and benefits of $516,573 in a community where the median household income is only $54,156, far exceeding SMMUSD’s highest paid employee known to date, Sandra Lyons, who recently left SMMUSD to work for the Palm Springs School District. Lyons was replaced by Dr. Ben Drati.
Looking at the data provided by Transparent California, the highest paid teacher in the SMMUSD had total pay of $124,584 in 2015.
See pdf copy of all SMMUSD salaries:
In response to questions raised by The Malibu Times about attacks on district spending, spokesperson Gail Pinsker said she was not aware of spending complaints in the past, but said the district has resources and uses them for the betterment of students.
For details, go to:
Regrettably, the SMMUSD does not spend their tax dollars wisely!
The SMMUSD has spent approx. $8 million dollars on lawyers and environmental expenditures rather than $100 per caulk test. Superintendent Sandra Lyon told the board at the December 11, 2014 board meeting that the District has approval to spend $600+ per hour and the use of Pillsbury Law Firm as legal counsel, and now the SMMUSD Board has given her carte blanche permission to spend unlimited amounts of money to protect their decisions. See list of SMMUSD expenditures to date: $8,000,000 and rising!
Malibu Schools Drain $8 Million From SMMUSD In Legal Fees
For details, go to:
Even after wasting so much money on attorneys fees, the SMMUSD lost the TSCA lawsuit and Judge Percy Anderson ordered injunctive relief to Plaintiffs America Unites For Kids.
The Honorable Judge Percy Anderson ruled that Malibu High School & Juan Cabrillo Elementary have illegal levels of PCBs.
The court found the SMMUSD in violation of Federal Law: Toxic Substance Control Act
The court ordered the district to remove all PCBs by 2019.
This ruling confirms how unconscionable the School District has been to spend $13 million to avoid complying with federal law
See Court Order here:
CURRENT HEALTH ISSUES WITH STUDENTS AND TEACHERS AT MALIBU SCHOOLS
6 teachers with thyroid cancer;
4 alumni (28-year-old) with thyroid cancer;
1 current student with thyroid disease, possible thyroid cancer
25 teachers with thyroid disease (including 14 of 30 Malibu Middle School teachers);
10 alumni in their 20s with thyroid disease;
1 alumni (22-year-old) with environmentally induced melanoma;
2 current teachers with environmentally induced melanoma;
1 teacher hospitalized from an environmentally-induced rash;
1 current student with an environmentally-induced rash lasting several months
innumerable cases of headaches; persistent rashes; daily migraines; infertility issues; hair loss; immune issues; respiratory issues; and diabetes.
The SMMUSD Board of Education people should not be running this school district as they spent $13 million of our tax payer money to NOT-protect the teachers, to NOT-protect the students, and now that they have been proven wrong in a Court of Law, they are STILL not taking responsibility and continue to put their students and teachers at risk!
There are many other troubling issues with the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District.
1. Student v Wendy Wax Gellis & Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District:
See link to Santa Monica Dispatch Article Concerning Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s Retaliatory Acts Against Students and Parents by filing false claims of child abuse with the Department of Children and Family Services:
The family alleges that an example of retaliatory action taken by Wendy Wax Gellis and the SMMUSD against this family includes knowingly and maliciously filing a false child rape and domestic violence allegation with the local law enforcement and with the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) in retaliation for parent’s exercise of their federally protected right to bring claims against the SMMUSD before the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR).
The family alleges that on December 18, 2013, SMMUSD employee named Wendy Wax Gellis made a knowingly false referral to the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), and to local law enforcement that parent raped her own son. The allegations were determined by all investigating agencies to be unfounded.
For details of this pending Federal lawsuit go to:
2. Student v SMMUSD:
9th Circuit Court of Appeals Case No. 13-55665 &District Court No. 2:12-cv-03059-SVWPJW
The Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District Did Not Act “Reasonably” When It Chose To Conduct An IEP Meeting Without the Parents’ Presence
For details of this other SMMUSD litigation, go to:
Before: FISHER, BEA and FRIEDLAND, Circuit Judges.
Appellant’s joint motion to continue deadline for motion requesting attorney’s fees, filed June 25, 2015, is granted. The request for attorney’s fees shall be filed on or before July 29, 2015. See June 29, 2015 Court Order: document-87
*Legal Fees in the amount of $215,000 were approved by the SMMUSD’s Board of Education on June 29, 2015.
See June 29, 2015 Board of Education Minutes: Re: Attorney’s Fee Settlement in the amount of $215,000
The SMMUSD’s Adversarial Posturing is Costing the SMMUSD Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars and Causing Unnecessary Harm to These Special Education Families
See Related case:
DREW BALAGUER, REINA ROBERTS, and MARK BALAGUER v. SANTA MONICA-MALIBU UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT,
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
Case No.: 2:14-cv-06823-CBM-MRW
THE SANTA MONICA MALIBU UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT HAS CREATED A TWO-TRACK EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM THAT EXCLUDES MANY STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES FROM MATRICULATING INTO A FOUR YEAR COLLEGE PROGRAM
For details, go to:
3. Severe Bullying at Malibu High School and Superintendent Sandra Lyon’s Ratification of the Conduct:
Student vs. Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District;
Sebastian Dane Sartorius: Jordan Clarke et al.
LOS ANGELES SUPERIOR COURT COMPLAINT
SPECIAL INTERROGATORY NO. 13:
LIST THE FULL NAME AND JOB TITLE OF THOSE INDIVIDUALS AT SMMUSD (AND/OR MALIBU HIGH SCHOOL) RESPONSIBLE AMENDING/REVERSING CANCELING AND OR OTHERWISE MODIFYING THE DISCIPLINARY SUSPENSION OF DEFENDANT SEBASTIAN SARTORIUS ISSUED IN OR AROUND NOVEMBER 2012.
RESPONSE TO SPECIAL INTERROGATORY NO. 13:
SANDRA LYON, SUPERINTENDENT OF THE SANTA MONICA MALIBU UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT.
4. STUDENT vs. MARK KELLY, BRANDON GALLAGHER, TARA BROWN, DENA MENDOZA, AL TRUNDLE & THE SANTA MONICA MALIBU UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
Re: Disability Discrimination
Plaintiffs allege that Mark Kelly’s conduct in baiting student was so outrageous in character and so extreme in degree, as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency,” Mintz, 905 P.2d at 563. Mark Kelly’s knowledge that the plaintiff is peculiarly susceptible to emotional distress by reason of some physical or mental condition rises to both extreme and outrageous conduct.” (“eggshell plaintiff” principle)
Some students may have vulnerabilities which necessitate a greater degree of caution on the part of school districts and their employees. In M.W. v. Panama Buena Vista Union School Dist., supra,
Abuse of Power
Demanding Investigation into Mismanagement of Funds and Laurie Lieberman’s Connection to Pillsbury Law Firm:
Pillsbury Law Firm’s Legal Bills Reach $3.38 Million after another $500K was approved at the March 3rd, 2016 Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District Board of Education Meeting.
6. Liz Soto, Dan Chapman, Tab Chapman vs. Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District
Case No. 2:15-cv-09339-RSWLDTB
Complaint for Intentional Discrimination and Willfully Ignoring “Child Find Obligations” in Violation of Section 504, ADA, and UNRUH Civil Rights Act
The Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District has a demonstrated policy of intentional discrimination and deliberate indifference when it comes to educating students with known disabilities.
The Santa Monica Unified School District (SMMUSD) officials had policies of inaction that resulted in failures to provide adequate procedural safeguards and failure to train their staff.
The SMMUSD’s failure to execute its “child find” duty and evaluation obligations under Section 504 constituted intentional discrimination in that their failure to act was not just negligent; it was a deliberate choice to not act evidencing discriminatory intent.
That SMMUSD acted with deliberate indifference as shown by the facts that the SMMUSD had knowledge of facts tending to establish that Student had a suspected disability:
1) The SMMUSD had knowledge from which an inference could be drawn that a harm to Student’s federally protected right to be identified and evaluated under Section 504 was substantially likely to occur, and
2) The SMMUSD failed to act upon that likelihood when they refused to evaluate Student. These policies included failure to adequately and properly train school staff regarding compliance with their mandatory duties.
Through the policies of the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District, the SMMUSD exhibited a deliberate indifference to the foreseeable consequences of the violations, including the foreseeable consequence of abuse of students with disabilities.
As a direct and proximate result of the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District’s violations of law, Plaintiffs suffered out-of-pocket expenses and mental and emotional distress.
See JD Supra article:
See pdf copy of Complaint:
See Notice of Settlement:
7. THE SANTA MONICA MALIBU UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT HAS FAILED ITS AFRICAN AMERICAN, HISPANIC, DISABLED & ECONOMICALLY DISADVANTAGED STUDENTS AT MALIBU HIGH SCHOOL, SANTA MONICA HIGH SCHOOL & JOHN MUIR ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Email the Santa Monica Unified School District’s Board of Education:
|Oscar de la Torre
|Dr. Jose Escarce