Lead Paint In School Despite Billions Spent





A recent news release tragically illustrates Broward school system’s continuing mismanagement problem.

The news release touted the $800 million proposed school bonds on the November ballot.  Citing a poll the pro-bond folks conducted, it stated, “A solid majority of Broward voters rate six (6) different Bond components as ‘definitely worth paying higher taxes to fund’ including 74% ‘definitely worth’ removing lead paint.”

Removing lead paint!!!!

Lead paint was banned in the United States as a toxin and an environmental hazard in 1978. That’s 36 years ago!

The poll shined a light on a dirty little secret at the School Board:

All through the lush years, when the Broward school system had plenty of money, it failed to remove a dangerous chemical from the schools.

I don’t know how much paint remains.

But the pro-bond campaign is using its removal as a talking point. The campaign pledges that if the bonds are approved the money will be used to eliminate any lead paint that remains.

To make this crystal clear:

Billions upon billions of dollars were spent by the schools since 1978. Tens upon tens of billions. And apparently no one thought that maybe they should protect our kids from a poisonous chemical!

Now the School Board wants us to pay more to do what they should have done years ago.

Outrageous. A total failure in management.

There are school staff members working today who sat on their hands about lead paint during this period. Superintendent Robert Runcie has been here since 2011.

Were they were ignorant of the problem? Or were they negligent?

Either way they weren’t doing their job.

The failure of the Broward schools to remove lead paint is a symbol. It’s a symbol of how just throwing more money at a problem doesn’t work in the school system.

The school system had plenty of money between 1978 and today.

You can have all the money in the world. But if you don’t spend it wisely, it is wasted.

Once more the Broward schools, in their own pro-bond poll, have proven they have a record of misspending and mismanagement.

Will giving them $800 million more cause them to change? You will decide that November 4.





12 Responses to “Lead Paint In School Despite Billions Spent”

  1. Juliet Hibbs says:

    Yes Buddy, this is disgusting, yet again! Have you done a public records request for the amount they HAVE spent since 1978. But they would charge you redicuious money for the request. That is how they have blocked a few requests from parents. How about the aspestious in the school? In 1978, plantation middle had to go on slit shift due to that, but as a staff member at Coconut Creek High, they were STILL removing it around 2006! When will staff and students have a safe educational system in Broward?? Like THIS http://youtu.be/yVQIb1BWmdA I have not been able to get back…this was like this for 3 years! I am banned from DBHS or I would have gone back. They LIED and got a no trespass order against me….video evidence is not something they can deny! So lies to keep me from getting more video! Cover ups daily in Broward Schools like this one

  2. Juliet Hibbs says:

    Thank you AGAIN Buddy! You are truly a gift to the staff, students and parents that are abused by Broward Schools all the time. Keep exposing the truth!

  3. Rico Petrocelli says:

    Another example of “playing to the Crowd”…Using terms like Safety, Remove Lead paint, For the Children.. These are used to tear down the problems of the past, and current failures.

    Buddy is right, who thought of “let’s use the lead paint issue” to ramp up support? Didn’t they think someone would say, why wasn’t this done in the past 36 years?

    Now runcie has been on board since 2011, but allowing someone else, a paid consultant who may not know all our past and current issues, falls under his failure to approve a campaign to sway us Voters.

    Maybe they can hire another person to guide the one they just hired, who is relaying the message to Runcie.

    All that’s missing are 3 Rings, and a hawker screaming, And in Ring #2 you will see…..or a small car with a lot of people jumping out….lol…

    My Vote for No gets stronger with each revelation uncovered.

    Rico Petrocelli
    Former Councilman
    City of Plantation

  4. Sam Fields says:

    Having been involved in lead paint litigation, I am familiar with effective treatment for older buildings.

    Encapsulation, by putting on a fresh coat of paint, fully remediates the problem and eliminates exposure. Public buildings require EPA approval to determine effectiveness of the treatment.

    Removing drywall or plaster and lathing and sandblasting the outside of a school, and disposal of the trash to EPA approved sites is a multimillion dollar job for a typical pre-1978 school.

    Painting that same school costs maybe $100,000+.

    I suspect every school in Broward has been painted multiple times since 1978. If they did not pass EPA standards they would not be allowed to open.

    [Buddy, if you know of schools that are exposing kids to lead…that’s a real story about incompetent or crooked building inspectors.]

    Here’s a little factoid. Science recognized the problem over a hundred years ago.

    The American paint industry stalled reform until 1978. The last I checked they still have not had to pay a dime for damages from their product.


    Number one: Most Broward schools were built since 1978.

    Number two: The school system has had tens of billions of dollars and more than 30 years to deal with this. It was obviously not a priority until they needed to sell a bond issue.

  5. wow says:

    There it is folks, the ashley walker difference. She should be renamed Ashley Take your dough Walker.

    Get ready the next bombshell SMART is going to unleash it is telling bcsb employees and union leaders there will be layoffs if the bond fails.

    FROM BUDDY: This news release was written before Ashley Walker joined the campaign.

  6. Charlie T. Somalian says:

    The incompetence of the school management knows no bounds.

  7. Timothy Beavers says:

    Great job, Buddy. Broward County is well served by you as one journalist who is willing to expose a lack of transparency and blatant attempts to influence voters for all of the wrong reasons. Your article is a classic example of private industry/government interaction of motivations for dollars that always seem NOT to benefit the intended benefactors, students and teachers in our education system. Demand accountability.

  8. Mad Taxpayer says:

    They kept building lavish palaces in places like Parkland and Weston while every other child was relegated to portables and schools with lead.

  9. RR says:

    Bartleman is the worst of the bunch. She sat their for years and didn’t do anything about the paint. It is probably in the all the portables of her Weston schools.
    I don’t trust her to make an honest decision. She was behind delaying the construction work for the bonds. The bonds would allow her to vote to give the bond money to whoever backs her commission candidacy.

  10. Mom from Fort Lauderdale says:

    Lead paint isn’t the only thing that has been neglected. I tried to get a wheelchair friendly entrance to my son’s school for the six years he was there. I was told it was in the budget. Somehow it never got built and the principal didn’t know why. Count me against the bonds.

  11. Eddie says:

    Robert Runcie is no Geoffery Canada of Waing on Superman fame
    We welcomed Runcie with great expectations of reform and hoped common sense would prevail but he could not rise above the entrenchment endemic in Broward Mr Runcie did try to take on the school driver transportation cabal and came away concerned for his own saftey and that of his family , threats were made He handled that first problem as an rookie going to the press first and then going to his community advisors late in the evening not letting them know of his press visit first-conversations
    Runcie’ and the board’s focus must be like Geoffery Canada’s on the student and their educational progress. He must Change what’s not working.This is important stuff
    School Board are you listening.
    The bond issue is a red herring
    Confusing the objectives
    Spending more fruitless money
    When time for educational progress is critical is in a word stupid
    Where is leadership when we need it
    Who on the school board will have the conviction and vision to step up.
    It’s not more money in this bond issue if it passes more will yield less
    They took on a poorly developed plan
    It’s to bad too often they have missed the mark or never had a plan that had a chance of working
    Get rid of the lobiest talk to Geoffery Canada or Michelle Rhee they have been agents of productive change
    When an objective is of supreme importance all assets must be consontrated to that objective
    The roofs get fixed a repaired schedule is prioritized but the class room and the students come first
    How did this cart get before the horse?

  12. Juliet Hibbs says:

    Mom, please name the school and I will mention it to the board about being out of ADA compliance. One of the many issues I speak of just school name please