With $7.6 million in new state funds, the School District of Philadelphia this week picked four contractors to clean up toxic lead paint in 40 schools after an Inquirer and Daily News investigation, "Toxic City: Sick Schools," exposed widespread problems.
Philadelphia district schools are filled with acres of damaged asbestos in ceilings, floor tiles and insulation. The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News investigated whether the district is doing enough to protect students from exposure to the cancerous fibers.
Many Philadelphia classrooms and gyms are incubators for illness, with toxic water fountains and lead paint falling from the ceiling. School staffers helped our reporters conduct scientific testing for these hazards. The results are disturbing.
Wendy Ruderman is an award-winning investigative reporter. She earned a master's degree from Columbia University School of Journalism in 1997 and has worked for the Daily News and Inquirer since 2002. She has worked for the New York Times, Associated Press, Bergen Record, and Trenton Times. She won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting for the Daily News, along with colleague Barbara Laker.