April 5, 2019
Please contact your legislators and other key legislators starting now. We need to show support, so please consider sending this to someone you know who supports environment and sustainability education.
The Upshot – Governor Inslee requested $4 million per year in 2019 and 2020 to continue momentum of the highly successful ClimeTime initiative that has launched climate science learning across Washington State. The program, funded for the first time by the legislature in 2018 is being implemented through OSPI and a network of Educational Service Districts (ESD’s) and Community Based Organizations (CBO’s) whose work can be viewed here.
Here’s what happens next:
The budget is being discussed in conference committees by top budget House and Senate leadership.
It will then go to the floor for a vote, then to the Governor for signature or veto.
For climate science learning to reach all K-12 students in Washington State and to prepare students for the opportunities and challenges climate change will bring, we are calling on you—the sustainability and climate literacy community—to voice your support to sustain and steadily scale the NGSS ClimeTime Initiative started at OSPI. Teacher professional development, student learning and program assessment need at least level funding to maintain the program’s momentum. Unfortunately, in this late stage in the budgeting process, it appears that funding for this program was reduced in the House and Senate Budget committees.
The opportunity to support our legislative Senate and House leadership to do the best they can do in conference to sustain climate science and NGSS learning at the current level of $4M or to the degree possible.
Why your efforts are instrumental RIGHT NOW
The legislators are constantly looking at email messages coming into their phones and computers.
If they hear NOW from their constituents as well as education, environmental, business, tribal and other leaders, it will send them the right message of support and let them know the ESE community is weighing in.
Email Senate Budget leaders (Senator Rolfes and Senator Frockt) and your Senator along with House Budget leaders (Representative Ormsby and Representatives Tharinger and Doglio) and your Representative with a message provided below.
Contact and other information to find your representative, go to: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/Rosters/Members
Key Budget Leadership for everyone to contact includes:
Senator Christine Rolfes, Chair Senate Ways and Means Committee Christine.Rolfes@leg.wa.gov
Senator David Fockt, Vice Chair Senate Ways and Means David.Frockt@leg.wa.gov
Representative Timm Ormsby, Chair, House Budget Committee Timm.Ormsby@leg.wa.gov
Representative Steve Tharinger, Chair, Capital Budget Committee, Steve.Tharinger@leg.wa.gov
Representative Beth Doglio, Vice Chair, Capital Budget Committee, Beth.Doglio@leg.wa.gov
Representative Steve Bergquist, Vice Chair, House Budget Committee, Steve.Bergquist@leg.wa.gov
This needs to be framed as a message supportive of their leadership, with gratitude for their efforts to carry through the funding line item. Please let them know how much you appreciate their support and hope that, in conference, the funding for climate science teacher professional development can be sustained as close as possible to the current $4M level approved through proviso in 2018. Let them know that you (your organization) understand the pressures they are juggling and request that you also wish to ensure that 25% of the funding allocated for climate science teacher professional development be allocated to community-based organizations.
Please feel free to personalize to your organization and perspectives, but the basic ask should include the points above and importantly, in the tone suggested.
Here is more language for your ask that you might consider utilizing:
Use proviso language that ensures the current funding structure for both ESDs and CBOs is maintained. In order to ensure consistency in the administration and management of these funds, it’s critical that the proviso language reflect the current structure that funds both ESDs and CBOs explicitly. The current Engrossed House Budget 1109 includes proviso language for this funding that reflects the current programming structure and we recommend its adoption in the final operating budget.
Fund the program annually for both biennial fiscal years. While this funding was new to a supplemental budget, the structure of the program requires annual funding so that there is no lapse in services or program evaluation. The Proposed Substitute Senate Bill 5153 funds the program annually and we recommend this funding structure be adopted in the final operating budget.
Regarding the appropriation: We understand the realities of a tight operating budget, and we are thankful that the current Substitute Senate Bill 5153 includes $6 million for this program. In order to maintain this network and improve the program, we recommend maintaining 2018’s $4 million annual funding. No matter the funding approved, we recommend that community-based organizations continue to receive 25% of the funding with ESDs receiving the balance. This must also include funding for OSPI to manage and support this growing statewide program and network.
Thank you for your environmental and sustainability education advocacy and leadership!
Derek Hoshiko and Sylvia Hadnot
Co-Presidents, E3 Washington
P.S. For your information and inspiration, check out these examples of the real-world results of climate science learning taking place in Washington:
Teachers, climate scientists and engineers are co-designing a virtual reality climate simulation.
Students in Highline SD are examining how media influences the climate change conversation before they create their own piece of media, such as an article, video, or PSAs.
Islandwood, Puget Sound and Olympic Education Service Districts supported teachers to incorporate the schoolyard studies into NGSS storylines.
PEI and Drawdown trained teachers across the state to utilize drawdown solutions to introduce students to calculating greenhouse gas emissions. PEI, Drawdown and Braided Education Consulting also hosted a three-day indigenous knowledge & traditions and NGSS climate workshop.
Washington Green Schools and ESD 114 hosted NGSS trainings on how to incorporate local phenomenon, such as forest fires, ocean acidification and coastal hazards into science instruction.
ESD 101 worked with Spokane elementary science specialists to develop an NGSS avalanche engineering activity to be shared with fellow teachers.
In ESD 105, Middle School teachers learned to use the Argument-Driven Inquiry process. In addition, K-5 Master Teacher Trainers prepared five new NGSS-aligned units with climate science standards.
Teachers in the Vancouver and Longview area engaged climate models and data to answer: "How do greenhouse gas concentrations affect surface temperatures?" Educators also visited the Columbia River Gorge Center, Goose Point Oysters, and Vancouver Water Resource Center.
In the tri-cities, George Last, a retired geologist introduced teachers to an active dig site and showed them how they record and study geologic and organic features that are evidence of climate change.