Washington Climate, Science and Environmental Literacy Funding
With the signing of ESSB 6032 Tuesday, March 27, Governor Inslee achieved a major victory for climate education and K-12 students across the state. With this bill, Washington also advances to leading the nation in K-12 climate literacy having become the first state in the country to dedicate significant support for climate education included in Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
Originated through the Governor Inslee’s budget request of $6.5 Million for science and climate education, $4 Million was approved by both the Senate and House in the March 8th supplemental budget bill ESSB 6032. The funds are directed to the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) for teacher professional development to implement Next Generation Science Standards including those related to climate science and healthy environments. The language also stipulates that $1M of the $4M be allocated for projects proposed in partnership with nonprofit organizations.
“Neil Armstrong noted when he stepped on the surface of the moon, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” The same can be said for science education in Washington with the legislatively approved $4M funding for climate science teacher professional learning and alignment with the Next Generation Science Standards. Students, teachers, and Washington will benefit from this meaningful investment in teacher professional training,” stated Gene Sharratt, Executive Director for the Association of Educational Service Districts.
The funding request was supported by E3 Washington and its partners including Center for Environmental Literacy, NatureBridge, Islandwood, Pacific Education Institute, WA STEM, Washington Green Schools, the Suquamish Tribe, National Wildlife Federation, Institute for Systems Biology and numerous other partners. With its successful passage, Washington state has taken a major step towards ensuring that all WA students become more knowledgeable about climate science and impacts and more prepared for careers in a clean energy economy.
“This is a major victory for our students and our state and a significant step in a generational shift towards a climate-informed citizenry. We applaud the Governor and our legislature for ensuring our students will have access to sound climate science and the information and resources they need to help create a future we want to see,” stated Susan Carlson, Board Chair of E3 Washington, Washington state’s umbrella organization for environmental education.
For more information, please contact: Info@e3Washington.org