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.