E-board approves up to $5 million for school lead testing
Friday, September 23, 2016
Oregon school districts are eligible for state funding to pay for testing lead levels in water sources used for drinking, food preparation, and other forms of human consumption.
Money will come from a $5 million set-aside approved Friday by the Oregon Legislature’s Joint Emergency Board. The funding, called a reservation, is available to public school districts, education service districts (ESDs), and public charter schools, the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) said Friday.
ODE said it will collect documentation of expenditures that are eligible for state reimbursement. It then will ask the Emergency Board to release funds to pay for eligible claims in December. Once allocated, the reimbursement money will be distributed through ODE to schools.
The funding is available to cover costs based on these criteria:
Testing on fixtures used for food preparation, drinking, and other human consumption.
Testing done by an Oregon Health Authority-accredited lab using U.S. Environmental Protection Agency protocols.
Samples submitted to a lab this year between March 1 and Dec. 1.
Schools will need to submit to ODE paid invoices from labs. Alternative documentation for tests submitted but not yet completed can be used to support the estimated cost.
Requests must be submitted by Dec. 1. ODE will aggregate all eligible reimbursement requests to support a funding allocation by the Emergency Board in December. The final amount to be reimbursed to school districts and ESDs will depend on the amount of funding made available by the Emergency Board and the number of eligible reimbursement claims submitted to ODE.
ODE said it would provide more detailed guidance in coming weeks.