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Jasey & Rice Urge DOE Commissioner to Order Immediate Testing for Lead in Every School

Comes After Eight Additional Newark School Facilities Found With Elevated Lead Levels in Water

Assemblywoman Mila Jasey and Senator Ronald L. Rice, the co-chairs of the state Joint Committee on the Public Schools, have formally requested on behalf of the committee that state Education Commissioner David Hespe order the immediate testing for lead in every school in the state. The request comes after reports today that eight additional school facilities in Newark were found with elevated levels of lead in the water.

“We are very concerned about the discovery of lead-contaminated water in schools in Newark, and the new reports demonstrating the problem is more widespread than we initially believed,” said Senator Rice and Assemblywoman Jasey. “We have an obligation as a state to ensure the safety of children, particularly when they are in the care of our schools. As the co-chairs of the committee charged with oversight of the public schools, we are asking the commissioner to order immediate testing for lead in every school in the state. That is the only way to know the extent of the issue we are dealing with and to ensure action is taken to protect against the health hazards that can result from lead exposure.”

The Joint Committee on the Public Schools has statutory oversight of the public schools in the state and provides an ongoing study of the system of free public schools, including its financing, administration and operations.

The letter from the co-chairs to Commissioner Hespe can be viewed here.