The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District board discussed adding one more full-time nurse, a position that was eliminated in the most recent round of budget cuts.
At the Nov. 18 meeting, board member Kelly Pye – who will not be part of the board effective Dec. 7 – led a vigorous discussion about nurse ratio at the district. The matter is expected to be up for a vote on Dec. 2, according to board members Oscar de la Torre and Ben Allen.
“We cut two nurses from last year to this year and nurses are complaining that, basically, we’re endangering kids,” de la Torre said.
Allen said that the board had several scenarios on which to vote for on Dec. 2. One is to bring back one nurse and hire so-called “health clerks,” which are not registered nurses but would cost the district less as it tightens its budget.There’s also a possibility that the board will not make any changes.
“A lot of districts have health clerks instead of nurses and it’s a less expensive way,” Allen said.
Another matter that the board tackled, in closed session, was a settlement with STG Three Properties, a firm that subleases district property and has hundreds of thousands in rent due, de la Torre said.
“The rental market is a symptom of a broader problem,” Allen said, “but I’m really not sure as to what the circumstances were that led to them defaulting on their payments … We’re going to work hard to protect the district’s financial standing in this matter.”