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Santa Monica Malibu School Board to Consider $171 Million Budget
Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark
Roque & Mark Real Estate
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Santa Monica, CA 90404
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Harding, Larmore
Kutcher & Kozal, LLP

Convention and Visitors Bureau Santa Monica


By Niki Cervantes
Staff Writer

June 22, 2016 -- The Santa Monica-Malibu School board on Wednesday will consider a general fund budget of approximately $171 million for the coming school year that includes a 10 percent increase in district-paid health care benefits, raises for teachers and other employees and a projected fund balance of nearly $21 million.

More than 80 percent of the spending is earmarked for salaries and benefits, which is usual for the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District and other public schools systems, officials said.

The biggest portion of the proposed 2016-2017 budget -- 62 percent, or about $87.2 million -- comes from the state, primarily through the Local Control Funding Formula adopted by California in 2013.

Enrollment remains flat, at around 11,003 students. About a dozen teachers, supervisory jobs and other positions are added under the proposed budget.

A public hearing on the proposed budget will take place at a special meeting Wednesday starting at 5:30 p.m. at district headquarters, 1651 16th Street in Santa Monica. The board also will hold a public hearing on its Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP).

A second budget meeting is scheduled for next Wednesday.

The 2015-2016 budget for SMMUSD totaled $136,761,063 in expenses, along with a $26,420,644 fund balance.

As with the existing budget, pay and benefits will increase for SMMUSD employees next fiscal year, which starts July 1.

The premium for District-paid employee health benefits is budgeted to increase by 10 percent, the district’s budget documents show (

Total spending is topped by funding for teachers and other certificated employees at $65,995,828, with another $29,341,776 earmarked for classified salaries.

Employee benefits account for $35,242,409; books and supplies for $4,794,632; services and other operating costs for $ 14,384,084; capital spending for $655,500; and other expenses at $65,147, for a total of $150,479,376.

The projected fund balance is $20,711,187, district documents show.

Revenues from property taxes, meanwhile, continue rising in the district’s three-year budget projection.

Starting in the coming fiscal year, property taxes are expected to contribute $73,477,874, jump to $77,343,943 the next year and to $81,113,671 in the 2018-2019 fiscal year.

Santa Monica’s Measure “R” parcel tax is estimated to generate $11,563,041 after subtracting senior citizen exemptions, with an additional $8 million coming from Proposition Y, according to budget documents.

Measure Y, along with its companion on the 2010 ballot, Measure YY, increased the sales tax by half a cent, with the money directed to City and SMMUSD funding.

The Santa Monica Malibu Education Foundation, the district’s main source for fundraising, will contribute $2.5 million, a figure that doesn’t change over the next few years.

Also on the school board’s agenda Wednesday is a proposal to discuss a tentative collective bargaining agreement with Local 99 of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

In closed session, the board is scheduled to discuss filling the posts of Interim Superintendent and Interim Deputy Superintendent.

The current superintendent, Sandra Lyon, leaves her job July 1 for the same position at the Palm Springs Unified School District. The board is searching for a permanent replacement, but in the meantime expects to fill the job temporarily

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