Getting lead out of our kids' drinking water just got a little easier.

On Jan. 23, Gov. Charlie Baker released his Fiscal Year 2020 budget, including $30 million to help school districts tackle the health threat of lead in drinking water. Lead is a potent neurotoxin that impairs how children learn, grow and behave. Yet of more than 43,000 taps tested at 980 Massachusetts schools since 2016, 59 percent were positive for lead in the water.

“In order to eliminate this threat to our children’s health, schools will have to take steps to ‘get the lead out’—including installing filters on faucets and replacing lead-bearing fountains and other parts of the water system,” said Emma Dietz, clean water associate at Environment Massachusetts. “The proposed $30 million in Gov. Baker’s budget will help provide schools with the resources to take these steps.”

There's more that Massachusetts can do to protect our kids, including adopting a health-based standard for lead in drinking water in schools and daycare centers, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Photo: More than 43,000 taps tested at 980 Massachusetts schools since 2016, 59 percent were positive for lead in the water. Credit: Duplass via Shutterstock.