From Oregon to Maine, the ongoing water crisis in Flint, Michigan has spurred many schools across the nation to take action, although it is still difficult to assess how much school testing and transparency have improved since.
Massachusetts is scheduled to complete testing of approximately 930 schools by the end of this month and is planning to make the results available online and Chicago Public Schools is planning to do likewise, reports Stacy Teicher Khadaroo.
“New York State has gone furthest, passing a first-of-its-kind law that required schools to test by Oct. 31, report results quickly, and take corrective action when needed,” says Khaderoo.
In 2006, only half of the states were making an effort to detect lead in school drinking water, and only a small number had a comprehensive program to address the problem, according to the Government Accountability Office.
Part of the problem is that testing faucets is difficult, even if done regularly, since pipes or solder corrode over time and can show up in taps and faucets that previously tested clean. Another is that many public schools typically do not have the resources to pursue aggressive testing, let alone replacing old piping and plumbing.