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Public education is under-funded in California, so wealthier PTA's raise private money to help individual schools. But that creates inequality, which is against the law. The Santa Monica-Malibu district may split in two because Santa Monica wants to spread private money around and Malibu wants to keep its contributions right where they come from. On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, will Occupy Wall Street fizzle or flare?

Banner image: Malibu High School

Main Topic Looking for Fairness in Public Schools 26 MIN, 27 SEC

The Santa Monica-Malibu School Board is meeting tonight for the fourth time on an issue that could divide the district in two. Last night, the Malibu City Council voted to start that process. The root cause is that California is not providing enough money for K-12 public schools, so parents who can afford it are coming up with cash on their own. We hear one local version of a debate that's raging statewide.

30 November follow-up

The Santa Monica-Malibu School Board last night changed private fundraising rules. By a vote of 6 to nothing, with one abstention, it ruled that PTA's of individual schools will no longer be allowed to pay the salaries of extra teaching staff. The goal is to avoid inequities between rich and poor schools. The district-wide Education Foundation will get that responsibility sometime in the next three years. The City of Malibu has voted to consider forming its own, separate district.   

Frank Gruber, Huffington Post
Craig Foster, Santa Monica Malibu Unified School Board
Lisa Balfus, parent of Santa Monica school children
Laura Deitrick, University of San Diego

Main Topic Occupy Movement's Last Gasp or a New Beginning? 25 MIN, 34 SEC

Will Occupy Wall Street Fizzle or Flare?The latest Field Poll shows California voters evenly split on the "Occupy" movement. Those who identify think financial institutions are responsible for today's economy. The other side blames the government. From New York to Oakland, occupiers have been removed by force, providing additional visibility and, for some, a kind of credibility. Occupy LA is barely holding on. Is it all over, or has it generated the kind of energy that can make it rise again? If it has an impact on next year's elections will it be good for Democrats or Republicans?

Ian Thompson, ANSWER Coalition
John Heilemann, Bloomberg Politics / Showtime's 'The Circus' (@jheil)
Frank Newport, Gallup Poll (@gallup)
Charles C.W. Cooke, National Review (@charlescwcooke)
Michael Kazin, Georgetown University

American Dreamers

Michael Kazin

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