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Press Release

Citizens Support Efforts to Protect Teachers

05/23/2001

Today, Congressman Kevin Brady (R-TX) is expected to offer the bi-partisan Teacher Liability Protection Act (H.R. 1103) as an amendment to H.R.1, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE) strongly supports this legislation that provides civil immunity to teachers who act in their official capacity, and obey state law and school rules.

Paul Beckner, president of Citizens for a Sound Economy, issued the following statement regarding the Teacher Liability Protection Act:

"The Teacher Liability Protection Act gives America’s teachers the protection they deserve. It returns the classroom to teachers, the schoolyards to our children, and our tax dollars to education, not litigation.

"Too many times teachers find themselves punished with a frivolous lawsuit for merely doing what’s right. We expect our schools to deliver top-notch educations with limited resources. Schools should not be forced to choose between spending their dollars on new supplies and defending themselves against frivolous lawsuits.

"According to the Education Law Association, small school districts can pay up to $15,000 a year in legal services, while larger districts may pay upwards of $100,000. When schools have to settle or pay lawsuits, it is the taxpayers who ultimately pay. Residents of one county in Oklahoma found their property tax tripled as a result of a judgment against their school district."

A virtually identical amendment passed the House 300-126 in 1999. The Senate passed a similar amendment to it education bill, S 1, by a vote of 98-1 on May 9, 2001.