Oregon Healthy School Plans Stop Short Of Requiring Lead Testing

Aug 18, 2016

Oregon has approved new rules for schools aimed at improving health conditions in the state’s aging buildings. The State Board of Education doesn’t have the power to require school districts to test for lead. That’s because it passes rules – not laws. The Board can require districts to provide plans.

The board is mandating what are called “Healthy and Safe School Plans,” which would require radon testing, which is already covered by Oregon law.

But lead doesn’t have a legal mandate in Oregon. So the “healthy school plans” must summarize the school district’s approach – but a district could choose not to test for lead under the rules.

The first such healthy school plans are due in draft form to local school boards and the state by Oct. 1st. Final versions, by the first of the year.

Districts would have to publish annual reports based on the plans.

Lawmakers have discussed a possible lead testing requirement – but schools are concerned about an unfunded mandate.

Copyright 2016 OPB