School Division Paying More for Liability Insurance

The Loudoun County school division is paying an additional $211,434 to the Virginia Association of Counties Risk Management Program, its insurance coverage provider, this year.Those increases in coverage are dispersed across several categories.

The receipts, obtained by Freedom of Information Act request, show that for Fiscal Year 2022, the division paid VACORP $1,709,944, up from $1,498,510 in 2021.

The largest increase was additional property coverage. This year, property coverage costs $854,000—a $166,204 increase from last year’s tab.

This year, the division is paying roughly an additional $16,000 for inland marine insurance—covering materials and items transported by truck or train, or stored by a third party.

The cost for general liability coverage this year is $128,371.

The hike in coverage comes as the division faces a number of high-profile lawsuits. PE teacher Tanner Cross, represented by Alliance Defending Freedom, settled with the division for $20,000 after being put on paid administrative leave for speaking out against transgender student protections. The division and ADF remain in ongoing litigation over Policy 8040, which provides rights for transgender and gender expansive students.

The division is also responsible for the legal fees of School Board members facing a removal effort. This year, that has included coverage for Beth Barts, the former Leesburg District representative, Chairwoman Brenda Sheridan (Sterling) and Vice Chairwoman Atoosa Reaser (Algonkian) as they battle recall petitions in Loudoun County Circuit Court.

In federal court, Patti Menders, the chairwoman of the Loudoun County Republican Women’s Club, is suing the district over its equity program. The lawsuit contends that white children faced discrimination and exclusion from groups that work to eliminate racial inequity in schools.

VACorp pays legal fees in cases up to $250,000. If fees exceed that amount, the school division is responsible for remaining fees.

6 thoughts on “School Division Paying More for Liability Insurance

  • 2021-12-01 at 10:32 am
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    We live in a litigious society. Unfortunately, there’s no carve-out for LCPS. To the contrary, some folks have filed frivolous lawsuits against LCPS, in my humble opinion. That’s their right. But there’s a concomitant cost to the taxpayers for these frivolities. It’s very sad. But on a brighter note, Happy Hanukkah Loudoun!

  • 2021-12-01 at 11:16 am
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    Kudos to Loudoun Now for obtaining these relevant documents.

    When will the residents of Loudoun vote out the corrupt cartel that is the LCPS school board so we don’t continue to get fleeced by these pointless legal fees for violating constitutional rights.

  • 2021-12-01 at 11:55 am
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    While I’m sure many post will be about the GL increase. However focus needs to be place on the property coverage. This is because all of the additional schools and upgrades to the administration building that are voted for every election day. Stop voting yes and maybe the BOS will force the developers to cover the cost.

  • 2021-12-03 at 8:17 am
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    Anyone else notice that the school board choice of law firm seems to have been the same for years? Would you be surprised to find out that the fees might be WELL OVER the level the school board is required to BID the business out? Under state statute 22.1-79 the “utmost efficiency” is the REQUIRED GUIDE for school management by school boards. Why isn’t this obvious decision to not be efficient part of the recall efforts? Is intentional incompetence now acceptable? This entire episode of sudden parental awareness versus school board nonsense would make a good documentary but some of it would be too unbelievable to be a non-fiction movie. All in my humble opinion. 🙂

  • 2021-12-03 at 10:58 am
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    This is a direct tax on the residents of Loudoun County directly attributable to the harm resulting from implementing the rabid ideology of the school board. We can fix this by removing the board members who drove this insanity, firing Ziegler, and electing responsible people to the school board in the next election cycle. This is one of the costs of not vetting local candidates.

  • 2021-12-05 at 5:27 am
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    Not surprised costs have risen for liability insurance due to national coverage of LCPS. I have family throughout the country that hears about LCPS and wants to make sure my family and children are ok.

    Sometimes litigation is the only way forward when someone in charge just isn’t listening. Town halls would have helped this year in that regard, to bring the at-large community together. Instead our at-large school board member refuses to do her job in person or allow public comments. WE, the parents and former employees of LCPS, should be able to voice our concerns without bias and prejudice. But we frequently encounter bias and prejudice when we speak up. This needs to be addressed immediately to show that the public AT LARGE is not being discriminated against.

    Avoidance of responsibility is still avoidance. And liability clearly demonstrates that avoidance is NOT the best strategy. We can do better and I hope LCPS can do better as well. Irreconcilable differences between parents and a school system needs to be addressed and resolved. Our children deserve that much at the very least. Trust needs to be rebuilt with a broken school board, not judgement. But sometimes enough is enough. I can understand the community frustration on multiple sides of different arguments. Consistency is needed and when it isn’t there, that is a HUGE liability factor that must be immediately addressed.

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