A group of parents last year filed a lawsuit against the Lebanon School District claiming the district levied "abusive" truancy fines that totaled $1.3 million dollars.
Some $400,000 in truancy fines are now gone. Michael Churchill, an attorney for the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia calls that a huge win.
"We've had tremendous success this year," Churchill said. "The court system has completely wiped out all outstanding fines that were above $300."
Churchill said two Lebanon County judges reduced fines for 377 parents named in the lawsuit, but about 150 parents are still looking to get back a total of $108,000 in fines they have already paid to the district.
"People who promptly paid, they're the ones who are being penalized by the stubbornness of the school district in refusing to even think about refunding the money that was collected on these illegal fines," Churchill said.
The court battle will continue later this year.
Looking forward, Lebanon's truancy rate has dropped from 14 percent in 2009 to two percent since the lawsuit. The district now strictly follows a policy to first send home a note and pursue court action after five days.
The debate over who should be accountable continues.
"I think it's up to the schools to alert the parents, if they're not aware of the situation," parent Sandra Tulos said. "And then, of course, the parents should work with the school to fix the problem to make sure the kids are back in school."
An attorney for the school district did not return phone calls to abc27 News.
The state Education Department said it offers guidelines, but ultimately it is up to school districts to create their own truancy policies.