Status Of State Climate Change Education Policy
No state authorizing legislation which specifically supports K-12 climate change education has been passed. Yet, the number of state bills which have been filed has risen dramatically in just the last few years. But two states have taken very positive and noteworthy steps:
- The Washington legislature appropriated $10,000,000 over three years starting with the 2018/19 fiscal year to provide grants to education service districts and community-based organizations for teacher training in the Washington State Science Learning Standards, using climate science as the core phenomena for this training. This likely makes it the first state in the nation to specifically appropriate funds for climate change education.
- New Jersey recently announced that climate change would be directly incorporated into education guidelines for all subjects in K-12 schools. While this is not new legislation, Al Gore is correct when he said that: “New Jersey is the first state in the nation to fully integrate climate education in their K-12 curricula.” He is talking about full integration into the New Jersey education standards.