SMMUSD School Board Upholds District's Core Values



The Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) Board of Education unanimously voted down a district staff recommendation to lay off 2 elementary music teachers at the March 5th Board of Education meeting. Board members said they could not vote for this recommendation because it did not support the core values of the district and was contrary to the “Arts for All plan that was unanimously adopted by the Board of Education in 2005. All board members gave the district's music program high praise. Music teachers and community arts advocates had strongly urged the board, both at the March 5th meeting and the March 4th Budget Workshop, to maintain funding for current VAPA programs and VAPA staff positions. Board members also received a high volume of email from the community in support of the music program.

Also on the March 5th agenda was a resolution authorizing the Superintendent to notify a list of district administrators that they may be reassigned to teaching positions for 2009-2010, and this list may include the district's VAPA Coordinator. Board members voted for the resolution, as it gives the board and district staff the flexibility to expand and review all budget reduction options between now and June, when the district has to submit its final budget. While the VAPA Coordinator 's position is still at risk until a final budget is approved, the board sent a strong message to district staff in affirming their commitment to the “Arts for All" plan, which includes sustaining a district level Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator.