February 26, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

SMMUSD Board Of Education To ‘Get Head Around Issue Of Malibu Representation’: Board Member Ben Allen Sets Goals After Reelection With His Two Santa Monica Colleagues

It was Santa Monica versus Malibu in the race for three seats on the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) Board of Education on Tuesday. After all ballots were counted, the Board of Education will remain the same without any Malibu representation.

The slate of three incumbent Santa Monica residents retained their respective seats, edging out a slate of three Malibu residents seeking to have their city’s schools represented on the Board.

Ben Allen, who recently served as president of the school board, topped all vote getters with a tally of 17,889 (24.57 percent of the vote). Also returning to the school board were Maria Leon-Vazquez (14,294 votes, or 19.63 percent, second place), and Jose Escarce (12,803 votes, or 17.59 percent, third place).

Rounding out the race were Malibu residents Craig Foster (11,653 votes, 16.01 percent), Karen Farrer (9,305 votes, 12.78 percent), and Seth Jacobson (6,859 votes, 9.42 percent).

Elected to the Board for the first time in 2008, Allen’s priorities include maintaining high academic standards for local schools, preserve arts and athletic programs, promoting “environmentally sustainable practices,” and promoting inclusion of both Santa Monica and Malibu schools.

“(My key policy goals include) raising academic standards and improving professional development, moving the conversation forward as to early childhood educational programming, improving the District’s environmental practices, ensuring financial stability for the District,” Allen told The Mirror.

Allen said Board of Education members will “really have to get our heads around the issue of Malibu representation,” among other issues.

“I’d also like to see the District explore doing its own solar paneling beyond what has already been done, and perhaps using a different model,” Allen said. “I’m also very interested in the conversation that we’ve been having in the District about teacher evaluations.”

Meanwhile, Leon-Vazquez, whose husband, Tony, was elected to city council, has been an advocate for Measure BB projects, school modernization, and seeking additional revenues through district-wide funding. Leon-Vazquez has served on the Board since 2000.

Also serving since 2000 and as school board president, Escarce is also an advocate for maintaining arts and education while finding ways to sustain a balanced budget. He also seeks to strengthen intervention projects and foster teacher professional development.

in News
Related Posts

Large Properties Drive-up Santa Monica Home Sales Amid Pandemic

February 26, 2021

February 26, 2021

Annual report shows single-family home sales rising By Sam Catanzaro Interest in large properties with five-bedrooms or more helped drive-up...

Santa Monica Police Arrest Parolee for Setting Stolen Car on Fire

February 25, 2021

February 25, 2021

Alex Omar Aguirre arrested by Santa Monica Police Department By Sam Catanzaro A Santa Monica resident this week watched as...

Video: Closing Streets to Allow for More Outdoor Dining?

February 25, 2021

February 25, 2021

A drunk driver recently crashed into a Santa Monica outdoor dining area, bringing attention to a proposal that would close...

Dozens of Santa Monica Restaurants to Participate in dineL.A.

February 25, 2021

February 25, 2021

First ‘spring’ season of culinary event to begin first week in March By Kerry Slater Dozens of Santa Monica restaurants...

Video: Free LA Metro Rides Could Begin Soon

February 24, 2021

February 24, 2021

LA Metro could begin offering fare-less rides as early as next year as part of a $300+ million program. Learn...

Danny Trejo’s Tacos Coming to Santa Monica

February 24, 2021

February 24, 2021

Popular restaurant owned by legendary actor coming near Promenade By Kerry Slater Legendary actor Danny Trejo is bringing his popular...

Violent Crime Declining in Santa Monica: Santa Monica Beat – February, 22, 2021

February 22, 2021

February 22, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Violent Crime Declining in Santa Monica * Santa Monica Animal Shelter...

Santa Monica Convicted Felon Indicted for Multiple Firearms Charges After Shooting into Neighbor’s Yard

February 22, 2021

February 22, 2021

Jason Walsh faces federal prison time for January 9 incident By Sam Catanzaro A Santa Monica man previously convicted for...

Westside Hotel to Homeless Shelter Sparks Debate

February 21, 2021

February 21, 2021

A proposal to convert a Westside hotel into a homeless shelter has sparked a debate. Learn more in this video...

Housing Backers Start Facing Post-Pandemic Reality

February 21, 2021

February 21, 2021

By Tom Elias, Columnist The mysterious blindness that apparently affected California’s top legislative housing advocates all through 2020 seems to...

Santa Monica Awarded Over $5 Million for Affordable Housing Production

February 21, 2021

February 21, 2021

The California Department of Housing and Community Development has announced two awards to the City of Santa Monica for future...

Asian Woman in Brentwood Verbally Assaulted in Racially Motivated Attack

February 18, 2021

February 18, 2021

While walking near the intersection of Bundy and Montana an Asian woman was verbally assaulted by a man walking his...

Video: Catalytic Converter Theft Spikes In Westside Neighborhoods

February 18, 2021

February 18, 2021

Catalytic converter theft is on the rise, what vehicles are most at risk and prevention techniques in this video brought...

Poll Reports Santa Monicans Think City is on Wrong Track

February 18, 2021

February 18, 2021

Local anti-union watchdog group Eyes on 11 releases survey results By Sam Catanzaro “The decay we feel in Santa Monica...