The Price of Your Greed

So far, 134 schools in Tennessee have at least one water source with unacceptably high levels of lead, according to a story in Chalkbeat:

So far, more than 100 schools in 31 districts across Tennessee found at least one water source above 20 parts per billion.

The latest results from Shelby County brought the total to 134:

The third and last batch of water sample tests brings the total number of Memphis schools affected to 39, representing about 2% of water sources in the district’s 165 school buildings and facilities. Charter schools and state-run schools in Memphis will test their water separately, Shelby County Schools officials said.

As Chalkbeat notes, the testing came about due to a new state law:

The tests were the first under a new Tennessee law requiring school districts to test water sources such as water fountains and sinks for lead at least every two years.

The alarming statewide results indicate a need for serious investment in capital improvements at school facilities across the state.

While there is a clear statewide need for school infrastructure funding, Gov. Bill Lee’s charter school slush fund began doling out millions of dollars this week and plans to award millions more in competitive grants to charter schools in districts across the state. Meanwhile, a new report indicates Tennessee remains at the bottom in nation in both funding of schools and funding effort (use of available resources to support investment in schools).

For more on education politics and policy in Tennessee, follow @TNEdReport

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