As Portland Public Schools resumes a search to find the district's next superintendent, the Portlanders for Safe and Healthy Schools campaign wants to remind everyone that lead was found in the water at every single school across the district.
The facts and urgency driving the Portlanders for Safe and Healthy Schools campaign remains the same: our students are exposed to dangerous neurotoxins and carcinogens including lead, asbestos and radon at every school across the district. 69 schools lack adequate fire alarms and heat detectors. There are critical seismic and ADA accessibility needs in schools across the district. The average PPS facility is over 77 years old, outdated, and the average classroom continues to inadequately meet the needs for a modern education for Portland's students.
Portlanders will continue to support Measure 26-193 because the district's Office of School Modernization has demonstrated exemplary accountability in administration of the 2012 School Bond. Faith in the district's ability to deliver capital construction projects led to endorsements for the campaign from The Oregonian, The Portland Tribune, Willamette Week, and The Portland Mercury and 250 community advocates and organizations.
Regardless of the district's timeline for the hiring of a new superintendent, the need for safe and healthy classrooms remain as urgent as ever. Failure of Measure 26-193 means Portland's children will continue to be exposed to lead, asbestos and radon for the foreseeable future.