Temecula Valley’s Legal Fees Up 377% Since School Board Takeover

Tuesday’s elections indicate that Americans are souring on the school board culture wars. Sure, many people find them tedious. But they’re also expensive.

Since hardline conservatives took the majority on the Temecula Valley Unified school board in 2022, legal expenses have shot up 377%. That’s according to a new report from the Press-Enterprise.  

According to the publication, TVUSD has spent over $80,000 on special counsel, which is helping the board defend legal challenges. The lawsuits stem from a series of contentious decisions, including a ban on so-called Critical Race Theory (CRT).

In addition to the CRT ban, trustees have gotten into fights with the state over social studies curriculum and Harvey Milk. They’ve passed a legally precarious policy ensuring parents are notified if their child shows signs of being transgender.

Trustee Jen Wiersma says the board is “challenging the status quo.” Allison Barclay, who’s part of the board minority, says her colleagues are creating controversies where there are none. She called the mounting legal costs “insane.”

“How are we going to improve test scores? How are we going to combat chronic absenteeism? How are we going to keep our facilities in good repair? These are the things we need to talk about,” said Barclay, “but we waste our time with lawyers and manufactured crises.” 


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