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Liability for Use of School Property After Hours

An overview of California law

Fact Sheet
Child Care & Schools
Healthy Neighborhoods

Some school districts may be reluctant to open school property to the community after hours, concerned about the legal risks and any costs in case of injury or property damage.

California law, however, gives school districts strong protections against liability. By prudently maintaining their property, carrying insurance, and requiring formal groups (like sports leagues) who use their property to maintain insurance—and by entering into formal joint use agreements with local governmental entities—districts can minimize their risk.

ChangeLab Solutions developed this fact sheet to explain the different protections afforded by California state law to help districts minimize their risk of liability. This is the first of ten state-specific fact sheets that will focus on the liability of school property after hours.

People who volunteer in support of school facility use sometimes worry that they could be at risk of liability if an injury occurs while they are volunteering. For more information about the significant legal protections for volunteers provided by the federal Volunteer Protection Act, see our fact sheet on Volunteers and Liability.