By Robert Miranda

Editor’s Commentary

    As many families learn of the news that Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) has lead water concerns, families whose children attend Choice and private schools have yet to receive any notice regarding the safety of the drinking water at these schools.

The danger that lead water presents to our children is serious and must be dealt with. Over 70,000 homes with lead pipes leaching lead into drinking and cooking water running through taps in our homes has been going on for decades in addition to the fact that we now know that lead is present in MPS, gives rise to the need to push for policy change in this city addressing this toxic metal in our drinking water.

While MPS has decided to be upfront and to some extent be transparent on the matter, many schools operating under the choice and private school systems have yet to release any data regarding the safety of drinking water in their facilities.

Choice and private schools should be obligated to give the same kind of report MPS gave to the public regarding the safety of their drinking and cooking water!

Choice and private schools should test all water taps in their buildings immediately. The results of these tests should be made public in the same manner MPS provided its results to the public.

Considering the practice of Choice schools to not provide data showing the effectiveness and efficiency of their schools while receiving public funding, will Choice schools be as transparent as MPS on this matter of safe drinking water? Or will secrecy continue to be part of their culture?

The families of children attending Choice and private schools have a right to know if the water is safe to drink or to use for cooking at their school.

Choice and private schools should disclose:

Protocols used for testing water at each school

Whether or not all taps at each school was tested

Whether or not the school tested has lead pipes or lead fixtures

The average lead level in the water even if under 15pbb

Actions to address lead pipe and fixture removal and lead water awareness

Lead blood testing for children at schools with lead blood levels above EPA standard 15pbb reading or below.

“Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.” James Madison