“First time environmental education santioned by Feds”

Environmental literacy in the U.S. Department of Education budget for the very first time.

President Obama and Secretary Duncan have made innovation and student achievement a major platform of the Obama Administration and as a result have included environmental literacy in a new program. The proposed budget includes a new       $1.0 billion for Effective Teaching and Learning for a Complete Education program designed to improve instruction to support college- and career readiness standards, in part through the use of technology to deliver high-quality content. The new program includes 3 components:

  • Literacy: $450 million, an increase of $36.7 million, to consolidate 7 existing Elementary and Secondary Education Act programs into a new program that would help States and local education authorities improve literacy skills by supporting professional development and improved instructional materials.
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM): $300 million, an increase of $119.5 million, or 66 percent, to expand the Federal investment in improved teaching and learning of STEM disciplines, especially in high-need schools and school systems, and prepare the next generation of scientists and engineers.
  • A Well-Rounded Education: $265 million, an increase of $38.9 million, or 17 percent, to consolidate 7 current authorities and expand support for the subjects important to a complete curriculum, including: history, the arts, foreign languages, environmental literacy, and economic and financial literacy.

What does it mean?  In the short term, it means that we can expect President Obama’s education bill (Elementary and Secondary Education Act, formerly known as No Child Left Behind) to include language from the No Child Left Inside Act, which will help force the hand of Congress, where we already have 87 House cosponsors and 17 Senate cosponsors.

We still have a great deal of work to do, and we will continue to count on you to take action and stay involved. In the meantime, congratulations to all of you—you made this happen!

“Advancing the environmental literacy of our students is key to addressing today’s increasingly complex environmental and related economic, social, natural resource, and energy issues,” said Don Baugh, Director of the No Child Left Inside Coalition. “It will not only better prepare students for college and the 21st Century workforce, but help to combat childhood obesity and related health problems by getting kids outside to learn about the natural world.  On behalf of our entire 1,500 member Coalition, I commend the President and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan for recognizing the critical role that environmental education plays in preparing our students for the green economy.”

One giant step for environmental betterment at a time.  Thank You!

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of  http://www.cbf.org

Image courtesy of  http://www.psychologytoday.com/Outdoor_adventure.jpg

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