2019 Finalist, Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting

Toxic City: Sick Schools

The Philadelphia Inquirer revealed unsafe conditions in Philadelphia’s rundown public schools, with children forced to learn in buildings rife with mold, asbestos and flaking and peeling lead paint. By scouring maintenance logs and conducting scientific testing inside 19 elementary schools, and engaging teachers and parents in their reporting, the Inquirer built a comprehensive database of the shocking conditions putting children at risk on a daily basis. The investigation prompted the state and school district to direct millions of dollars to emergency cleanup of lead paint and asbestos fibers in schools, the total demolition and planned replacement of one school with particularly deplorable conditions, and a new law protecting children from lead paint and other serious health hazards in public schools.

Read more about the story behind the investigation in this piece by The Journalist’s Resource.

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