PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — School starts in a week, and crews have been busy working to remove environmental hazards in school buildings.
As the school year begins, the district is continuing its efforts to remove or stabilize lead paint in its aging buildings. This summer at Heston Elementary School in West Parkside, for example, crews resumed work that started last year to remove lead paint.
In the two years since an Inquirer series drew attention to unhealthy conditions in district schools, the state has kicked-in extra money for lead paint removal, with $8 million last year and an additional $4 million this year.
Superintendent William Hite says the district addresses mold and asbestos as soon as possible after it’s reported, and he says lead paint removal is underway in buildings with the youngest and most vulnerable students.
“By the beginning of this school year, we would have remediated lead paint or done paint stabilization in over 40 schools.”
Hite says there are new systems, including an app developed by the teachers union, to report environmental hazards.