So far, 74 percent of schools that submitted samples found at least one faucet or drinking fountain with high lead levels. Many of those schools are still trying to trace the source of the problem and find the money for long-term fixes.
In his Feb. 7 State of the Union address, President Joe Biden said the infrastructure bill he championed in 2021 will help fund the replacement of lead pipes that serve “400,000 schools and child care centers, so every child in America can drink clean water.”
Review the policies in all 50 states and the District of Columbia
However, as of mid-February, states were still waiting to hear how much infrastructure money they’ll receive, and when. And schools are trying to figure out how to respond to toxic levels of lead now. The federal government hasn’t required schools and child care centers to test for lead, though it has awarded grants to states for voluntary testing.
Schools Struggle With Lead in Water While Awaiting Federal Relief
O n a recent day in Philipsburg, Montana, a 19th-century mining town turned tourist hot spot, students made their way into the Granite High School lobby and past a new filtered water bottle fill station.