JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The Mississippi Association of Educators (MAE) are asking for Jackson and state leaders to come up with a plan to repair the city’s aging water system.

MAE members said Jackson’s water problems are an educational issue, and they are looking for ways to help leaders find a solution. Through a series of recent polls and research, the association hopes to provide policy makers with evidence that will push for change.

A poll conducted by the association showed 96% of participants said they believe Jackson’s water is unsafe to drink.

They said all Jackson Public Schools have had to close at one point or another due to unsafe water. The association’s president said the water crisis is impacting the classroom in other ways.

“I don’t think the community actually knows how much water is used. I remember in my classroom you start the day with restroom breaks. So if you have a class of 24 to 27 students, if you’re limited to the amount of restrooms that are available due to the water, that can impede on your classroom educational time,” said MAE President Erica Jones. “Our students in our Jackson area, not only our students, but our educators and our community members deserve better.”

Jones also said the water crisis is costing schools more than usual to provide safe bottled water, which is cutting into other funds.