Twenty-four Senate Democrats are asking their colleagues in Congress to help schools pay for the testing of lead levels in drinking water, calling it an investment to ensure the health and safety of the nation's children.

The move is the result of the drinking-water crisis in Flint, Mich., which helped shine a light on a loophole in federal law that exempts many schools from having to test their water for lead contamination.

After revelations that the drinking water in nearly half of Newark's public schools had elevated levels of lead, New Jersey lawmakers have proposed requiring every school in the state to test its water for the contaminant.

According to state data, 18 cities in Pennsylvania and 11 in New Jersey may have an even higher share of children with dangerously elevated levels of lead than does Flint, though public health experts say lead from old paint is more of a threat overall than water.

- Washington Post