HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A Pennsylvania school district is being sued over what lawyers say are excessive and illegal fines imposed to punish repeatedly truant children or their parents.
The Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia sued Thursday in federal court in Harrisburg. It says the Lebanon School District's fines violate the state limit of $300 per absence.
The district reduced some fines in 2009 after the NAACP complained. But law center attorney Michael Churchill says the district didn't return much of the money it collected or end efforts to collect other illegal fines.
The suit says one parent was ordered to pay $27,000 because she didn't have $70 to pay for a home-schooling evaluation. And it says a 17-year-old student was fined more than $12,000.
Many state truancy laws allow fines or even jail, but analysts say schools don't always pursue such avenues.
The district denies wrongdoing.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)