Philadelphia House Delegation applauds $4.3 million state funding for lead paint stabilization projects in public schools

PHILADELPHIA, Aug 1 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., chairman of the Philadelphia Delegation in the House of Representatives, along with delegation members, applauded Gov. Tom Wolf for providing $4.3 million in state funding for lead paint stabilization at Philadelphia school buildings.

“Many of our children are educated daily in public school buildings that were built years, even a century prior to the 1978 federal ban on lead-based paints. The buildings have not undergone any modernization updates, despite lead’s harmful, irreversible effects on children’s development, especially during their most formative years,” Dawkins said. “I am grateful for Governor Wolf continuing his commitment to alleviate these environmental hazards to ensure children, teachers and staff no longer learn and work in toxic environments.”

To date, Dawkins said, the governor has invested a total of $11.9 million for lead paint alleviation in schools across the city over two years, with $7.6 million provided last year. Since June 2018, through a combination of state funding and $11 million provided by the Philadelphia School District, 32 elementary schools will have undergone lead paint stabilization by the start of the upcoming school year. Nearly 18,000 students will attend schools with newly painted classrooms, auditoriums, cafeterias and gym.

“I am excited children across Philadelphia will begin the academic year in learning environments that are not only environmentally safe, but also appealing,” Dawkins said. “Starting anew in a revamped classroom will do wonders on their self-esteem and their academic performance. It instills a sense of pride knowing that they are valued.”

Funding for lead paint stabilization is part of the governor’s Restore Pennsylvania proposal, which would help Philadelphia and schools across Pennsylvania address lead and other contaminants. Restore Pennsylvania would be funded by monetizing a commonsense severance tax. Over the next four years, $4.5 billion would be provided for high-impact projects throughout the commonwealth.

The proposed investment would help communities with initiatives such as removing lead paint, protecting against flash flooding, combating blight, and expanding high-speed internet and green infrastructure. All projects that communities need but lack the necessary funding to complete.