Hannah Heineman Mirror staff writer Last Thursday, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s (SMMUSD) Board of Education modified and extended its moratorium on interdistrict permits so that up to 100 new students in grades K-4 would be accepted for the 2005-2006 academic year. The moratorium was put in place in August 2002. It has been reviewed annually in February to allow for changes based upon District fiscal and enrollment needs. The Board decided to allow enrollment of the additional 100 students because the District is projecting that its enrollment will decline from 12,561 students in October 2004 to 12,340 in October 2005, for a drop of 205 students. Also figuring in the board’s unanimous decision was the state’s budget deficit. Interdistrict permits allow students whose families don’t live in Santa Monica or Malibu to attend school in the District. Student enrollment is the basis for the District’s budget as the Average Daily Attendance (ADA) payments that are paid by the state to the District are a major source of revenue. In addition, enrollment determines master scheduling of classes at every school in the District. According to the District staff report, “new enrollments will be distributed across the District schools to avoid undue impact on facilities and staff at a single site.,,, permits are granted for attendance in the District with no guarantee of placement in a school of choice.” Another modification approved by the Board had to do with intradistrict permits. The District staff report states that these permits “allow children who are residents of the cities of Santa Monica and/or Malibu to attend a school other than their neighborhood school.” The change states that the first priority for permits will be given to “same-school placement for all siblings in a family once an intradistrict permit has been granted, except in cases where students need a specialized program which is only available on another campus.” The next priority will be given to “interdistirct permits for children of employees of the SMMUSD [uncertificated, classified, management, full and part-time (a minimum of 15 hours per week)].” A third priority will be “if space and budget permit…to accommodate requests for placement for siblings (of current interdistrict permit holders) who will be entering Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 6th or 9th Grade. If a permit is received (granted) there is no guarantee of same-school placement. On-going permit holders are not affected and will continue in the home school being currently attended.” “Siblings of recent [within the last three years] graduates of the SMMUSD who attended on interdistrict permits will be allowed to enroll under this section, under the same provisions.”Lastly, “if space and budget permit, interdistrict permits for children of employees of the cities of Malibu and Santa Monica” will be granted.
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