Last year, I had to withdraw my oldest from the high school he attended because they where no longer offering summer school. I was very surprised that a school in such a high income area was no longer able to provide simple programs, such as, summer school. Although he was going to be a Sophomore, he needed to retake some of his Freshmen courses to graduate. At first I wasn’t that concerned, I figured he would just retake them during the school year. However, after playing phone tag with his counselor, I was informed that due to budget cuts he couldn’t take them during his regular semester. Therefore, by his Senior year he would not be allowed to walk. I was appalled and could not understand how a school located in a upper class community would have to take away programs as simple as summer school.
When my boys where in elementary school they went to a private school. Therefore budget cuts where rare. After all, if the school need something that go to the parents for it. However, now that both of my sons attend a public high school, I am surprised at the struggle schools face every year just to keep their door open.
After pulling my oldest out of his school. I did a little research, so that this would not happen to my youngest son. I learned schools across California are dealing daily with high litigation costs. Which are forcing our schools to have to cut back on staff and valuable educational programs.
California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse recently released a report finding that just 12 of the state’s school districts combined spent more than $125.6 million on litigation over three fiscal years. I wanted to share this information with you and urge parents in California to reform its legal system so we can reduce these costs. If not I am concerned about the future of our kids.
Now that the school year had begun, and California’s students back in the classroom. While school districts are always stretched tight, one thing that’s really hurting schools is abusive litigation, which is forcing districts to spend money fighting lawsuits instead of educating students.
A recent report from California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse analyzed the litigation costs to 12 districts for fiscal years 2010-2011 through 2012-2013, and found that the districts combined spent more than $125.6 million on litigation, spending $96.1 million on outside counsel, and $29.4 million on verdicts and settlements.
The 12 districts examined in this report account for less than 20 percent of the total enrollment of California’s K-12 public school districts. When the other districts are taken into account, who knows how many millions – or billions – of dollars our districts are spending?
This report makes it clear that California’s schools are just one more victim of the state’s plaintiffs’ attorneys, some of whom view lawsuits as a means to get rich rather than achieve justice. Because California’s laws encourage this behavior, our students are paying the price.
Californians need to make sure, especially as the November ballot approaches, that they know whether their candidates support legal reforms that would put an end to abuse like this. Legislators need to help solve the problem by passing legislation that stops abusive lawsuits, instead of encouraging them.
You can find several report on this topic here.