Who were the ones most vulnerable to lead poisoning in the city of Flint?
With that, Bilal Tawwab, the superintendent of the Flint Community School District (FCSD), joined Stateside's live show in Flint to talk about the state of the school district.
"We're moving forward. That's key. We're moving forward," Tawwab said. "Right now, we are putting systems in place so that we're able to meet the needs of all of our children. We're sort of dealing with an unknown. We don't truly know what will be the full impact of the water crisis, but we must be proactive and we must be ready to respond to all of our students' needs."
The students in Flint schools are still not drinking the water as the district is able to provide bottled water as deliveries arrive every week thanks to generous donations. The district's food also continues to be prepared with safe water.
The district is dealing with a lot of competition from charter and private schools, so how are people like Tawwab selling the FCSD to parents and their children?
"There's so many great things that are occurring in the school district, but one thing I will say: I just don't want to sell you something," Tawwab said. "I want you to be able to come into Flint Community Schools and truly see all the great things that we're doing. We're expanding athletics now, we're expanding art opportunities for our kids, and we have a laser-like focus on academics, and that is key.
"Flint Community Schools will have the system in place that will meet the needs of all kids," Tawwab added. "We're number one. We're going to be number one. I feel as if we're sort of awakening a sleeping giant. I mean, Flint Community Schools has a very storied past and so I'm really happy to be leading this next chapter in Flint Community Schools."
Listen to the full interview above (or watch it below) to hear about the effort to increase early childhood education options, additional support systems and where the district is at when it comes to funding and support from the state government.
Thanks to Kimon Kotos and Ann Bratsburg from Digital Spectrum Enterprises in Muskegon for videotaping the live show.