The goals of this project are: 1) to provide a descriptive assessment of the current methodologies used in state-based school water quality testing programs compared to recommended standard surveillance elements; and 2) to summarize water lead content data derived from state testing programs and present and evaluate data by school social and demographic characteristics. First a standardized policy and document content review protocol will be used to document key features of state water quality testing programs and relevant elements of the public surveillance system. These will include lead agency, policy mechanism, sample size target specifics, water sample collection protocols, case identification by lead content action level, response procedure requirements, and reporting and communication requirements. These will be compared to Environmental Protection Agency recommendations and guidelines for public health surveillance elements. Next the researchers will access online or request data on all testing samples of measured lead in tap water from states conducting voluntary or mandatory school tap water testing for lead (and copper, when available). This school-level water quality testing data will then be linked with school-level characteristics using publicly available data on all public schools and other state-agency provided data.
Early Adopters: Current Practices and Preliminary Findings in States Adopting School-Based Water Quality Testing Programs
This Brief summarizes select characteristics of state-level policies and programs to test for lead in school drinking water. It is based on a study from researchers at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and the University of California Nutrition Policy Institute. The full results of the study, … More
Improving Access to Free School Meals: Addressing Intersections Between Universal Free School Meal Approaches and Educational Funding
Free and reduced price meal application data are used to allocate billions of dollars annually in education funding. However, schools serving universal free meals under the Community Eligibility Provision meal service option or USDA’s COVID-19 waivers do not typically collect school meal applications. The loss of this data has caused … More
Schools play a vital role in promoting children’s health and well-being. In the United States, schools contribute significantly to children’s overall diet quality and can provide up to half of their daily calories, especially among children from low-income families. Providing healthy school meals for all is a policy opportunity to … More