ELC files suit seeking repairs to Abbott schools

The Education Law Center has filed suit against the state Department of Education over the department’s failure to make what the ELC says are emergency repairs on schools in the state’s 31 Abbott Districts.

“ELC filed the action on behalf of the thousands of children who, as a result of the DOE’s inaction, are attending school in buildings with unsafe, unhealthy and dangerous conditions, including leaky roofs; crumbing facades; and inadequate heating, fire safety and other basic systems,” a release from the center said.

In June 2011, in response to a call from the state DOE, the Abbott Districts submitted a total of 716 emergency repairs for review by the agency.  In a response, the DOE listed 396 of the proposed repairs on a “short list” of projects it would review for possible emergency status.

According to ELC, DOE officials replied to the districts again in March listing 76 of the projects as potentially emergent, but has provided no final status or timeline for repairs.

The issues facing the schools according to a list provided by the ELC include damaged or leaking roofs, collapsed ceilings, problems with air conditioning or heating, malfunctioning or non-existent sprinkler systems and problems with fire alarms or smoke detectors.

A spokesman for the DOE did not immediately return a call for comment on the suit. ELC files suit seeking repairs to Abbott schools