LONGVIEW - A bill that could keep school districts accountable by annually testing for lead contamination sounds commendable to the Longview school district. Texas Representative Niclole Collier has been pushing House Bill 2395 for two months. However, the school district expressed concerns for the bill.
"We don't want anything to harm our students we want to take care of them," Elizabeth Ross said, who's the spokesperson for Longview ISD. "One of our questions is where will the funding come from?"
According to the Texas Education Agency, the state wide cost for HB-2395 is approximately 22 million dollars a year. The Texas Association of School Business estimated up to three thousand dollars per building. Longview ISD has 13 buildings, they have to pay 39 thousand dollars a year. The school district said it could shake up their budget.
"Where's the funding going to come from to help rip out those pipes?" Ross asked.
The city of Longview said they take water quality seriously and it's something they test often. If the bill ever passes, the city would help accommodate school districts to the would-be rules. However, the Longview ISD said they'll adjust.
If passes, HB-2395 could take effect September 1, 2017.