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Schools with leaky roofs, exposed steam pipes, crumbling ceilings and inoperable bathrooms might be something you'd expect to find in a Third World country. Anderson Cooper, a CNN correspondent, reports from a school where these deplorable conditions are commonplace...and this school is located just minutes from the White House.

Brandon Eatman, the school principal, takes Anderson on a tour of his school, which can be compared to an obstacle course. Buckets litter the halls on rainy days, and plaster sometimes falls from the ceiling.

Principal Eatman shows Anderson a stack of work orders for building repairs—one dates back to January 2002. Most repairs still haven't been completed. In a boys' bathroom near the gymnasium, Anderson discovers their quick fix for broken urinals. Instead of repairing the plumbing, work crews turned off the power in the bathroom and built a wooden box over the urinals.

"It is frustrating," Principal Eatman says. "You always want the best for your students."
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FROM: What Bill and Melinda Gates Want You to Know
Published on April 11, 2006

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