UMich study finds correlation between Flint water crisis and poor academic performance

Read the full story in the Michigan Daily.

A recent University of Michigan study found a correlation between the Flint water crisis and a decrease in academic performance for school-age children.

In April 2014, the city of Flint switched its drinking water supply from Detroit’s system to the Flint River to save money. However, later studies revealed elevated levels of lead in the blood of the city’s residents. The city switched its water source to Lake Huron in 2015, but the damage had already been done—approximately 99,000 residents had already been exposed to lead poisoning. Former Governor Rick Snyder and eight former state officials faced criminal charges for the Flint water crisis in 2021. 

Samuel Owusu, a research analyst at the Educational Policy Initiative, said one of the defining aspects of the study was its use of non-educational data—data not relating to academic, educator, demographic and student information—to show the effect the Flint water crisis had on student performance.

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