Companion bills SB 2445 and HB 1509 filed by Republicans Sen. Kevin Blackwell and Rep. Kent McCarty would seek to regulate the number and condition of water fountains in public schools.

The bills would essentially prevent the Department of Education from approving school building plans that didn’t meet the appropriate type and number of water fountains.

Here’s the language from the bill.

 

(b) A minimum of one (1) drinking fountain or water
bottle filling station on each floor and wing of each school
facility; and

(c) A minimum of one (1) drinking fountain or water
bottle filling station for every one hundred (100) students
projected to attend the school upon completion of the proposed
construction.

(2) Any water bottle filing station in a public-school
building shall:
(a) Dispense filtered, clean drinking water;
b) Be regularly cleaned and maintained; and
(c) Be accompanied by a cup dispenser if there is no
drinking fountain on the same floor and wing as the water bottle
filling station.

(3) Any drinking fountain installed in a public-school
building shall:
(a) Be equipped with a protective cowl;
(b) Be equipped with a waterspout at least one (1) inch
above the overflow rim of the drinking fountain;
(c) Dispense filtered, clean drinking water; and
(d) Be regularly cleaned and maintained

With teacher pay and administrative costs remaining massive issues for education funding in Mississippi, is placing massive extra burdens on water fountains for renovations or new construction the right move?