Experts Warn School Districts Not to Defy the Governor’s Vaccine Mandate

A number of school districts don't plan on enforcing the governor’s school vaccine mandate when it takes effect, likely on July 1. That decision could cost them.

“School boards that defy state mandates are putting their state funding and liability insurance in peril, and trustees could face fines or jail time for ignoring the law, according to lawyers and insurance providers,” EdSource reports.

Experts say most insurance policies won’t cover schools that have violated the law. They could risk losing coverage. Workers compensation coverage could also be affected if a staffer contracts COVID on the job.

The Regional Liability Excess Fund, which serves 442 California school districts, is among those urging its members to follow the rules. Sacramento law firm Lozano Smith also warned against defiance in a liability analysis for Calaveras Unified.

“The most damaging thing a school district can do is to go on record at a public school board meeting or elsewhere explicitly stating that the district will not follow or enforce the law,” the analysis said. “Schools that do not follow executive orders, public health orders and public health guidance are likely to be targets of litigation. Given that most or all school districts do not have insurance coverage for infectious diseases, the potential liability is very high.”

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