© 2024 | Jefferson Public Radio
Southern Oregon University
1250 Siskiyou Blvd.
Ashland, OR 97520
541.552.6301 | 800.782.6191
Listen | Discover | Engage a service of Southern Oregon University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Education Officials Mull Costs As Oregon Districts Prepare To Test For Lead

Wikimedia Commons - bit.ly/20CAZt6

Oregon school districts are preparing to test for the presence of lead as a result of new rules proposed by Gov. Kate Brown. Members of the Oregon Board of Education Thursday signaled a desire to move quickly on the proposal.

When the Board of Education heard the proposed rules, one of their first questions was how quickly can it be done? Another question: How much will it cost?

Legislative leaders have signaled a willingness to help schools pay for the lead tests. But Oregon Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction Salam Noor said the real question is how much it will cost to fix any problems the tests find.

"There really isn't any way to predict that,” Noor said. “Because then you start to get into the actual structures and the infrastructure that we have in our state relative to school and district facilities, and we just need to have a little bit of time to really measure the magnitude of repairs that will be required."

The proposal comes after several Portland schools found high lead levels in drinking fountains and faucets.

Schools are already in the process of developing plans to test for radon under a bill approved by Oregon lawmakers in 2015.

Copyright 2016 Northwest News Network

Chris Lehman
Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR–affiliate WNIJ–FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.