Friday, January 27, 2012

Why a PTA Cannot Contribute to "Transportation" Costs

When I attended PTA & the Law, I understood that PTAs should not pay for transportation for school field trips or other events because the AIM insurance doesn’t cover injuries incurred arising from transportation. Please explain why a PTA cannot contribute to transportation costs for a school event.

The advice provided during the PTA & the Law about paying for transportation via school bus is based on the fact that typically such events use school district buses, and that school districts do not have the legal authority to protect PTAs (or any other private group) from liability.  As a result, the PTA could not be added to the school district’s insurance as an additional insured, and if injuries (or worse) occurred on a field trip involving the school bus and the PTA was sued the PTA would have to hire an attorney (or find one willing to volunteer) to have the PTA dismissed  from the lawsuit.  This could result in a potential cost of several thousands of dollars even if the PTA was in no way at fault in causing the injury. While the risk of injuries and lawsuits may be small, it is real, and is one of many factors that a PTA’s board of directors has to consider.