April 22, 2009

On Earth Day, Senator Gillibrand Announces Legislation To Save Environmental Education

During Tough Economic Times, Schools Budget Cuts Threaten Environmental Education Programs - “No Child Left Inside” Will Save Green Education Programs

Washington, DC – On Earth Day, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand this week called for new federal investment in environmental education. During these tough economic times, schools budget cuts are threatening environmental education programs across New York. Senator Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, announced No Child Left Inside, legislation sponsored by Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) that would authorize $100 million over the next five years to support environmental education programs in schools across the country.
 
“During these tough economic times, we need to continue investing in environmental education to prepare our students for the new green economy,” said Senator Gillibrand, a mother of two young sons. “No Child Left Inside provides critical funding to ensure that our children receive hands-on education that connects them with environment and prepares them for the future. Investing in education is one the most important investments we can make to grow our economy. I am committed to improving educational opportunities for all of our children.”
 
Climate change, conservation of natural resources, maintaining clean air and water, and other environmental challenges are pressing and complex issues that influence human health, economic development, and national security. Providing funding for environmental education will help ensure our nation’s children have the knowledge and skills necessary to address these difficult challenges.
 
The No Child Left Inside Act would provide competitive grant funding to increase environmental literacy, promote professional development for teachers, and provide an environmental foundation for students. Schools across New York could benefit under this legislation by developing and exploring environmental education programs that prepare students for the green economy.
 
The No Child Left Inside Act would:
 
Require states to develop Environmental Literacy Plans for elementary and secondary school student in order to obtain grant funding for environmental education programs for students and professional development for teachers of environmental education. 
 
Authorize $100 million each year for FY’10 through FY’14 to states for implementation of the environmental literacy plans.
 
Authorize funding for the Secretary of Education to make competitive grants to build national capacity in environmental education. 
 
Incorporate training for teachers on the use of field-based, service, and experiential learning to provide innovative and interdisciplinary instruction to students.
 
                                         # # #