The next time you are asked to participate in a fundraiser or told an innovative program is about to be cut, investigate legal-fees spending in your district.
Only a small fraction of our Valley high schools have implemented thriving career-technical training programs, secured funding for art and music programs or have a full and credentialed staff to serve special-needs students. However, in California, attorney fees continue to grow unchecked.
Legal spending drains the education budget quietly. Most often, the minute a case enters the legal arena, a gag order is issued. This obscures the frequency of occurrence and minimizes what might be a fundamental problem in the district.
It is obscured in reporting because districts argue that disaggregating data breeches privacy rights afforded all parties (citing the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act). However, the health-care industry has proved that privacy can be protected through a simple coding system and analysis of spending improves conflict-resolution strategies.
Find out how what is happening during the “closed session” of board meetings affects your district’s budget and advocate to re-allocate funding back to the students and out of the pockets of private attorneys.