NAAEE Endorses “No Child Left Inside” Environmental Education Bill


NAAEE Endorses “No Child Left Inside” Environmental Education Bill

The North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) is pleased to endorse legislation authored by Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) and Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD) to expand and strengthen hands-on, outdoor learning opportunities for elementary and secondary school students around the country. Mr. Reed was joined by Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) as co-sponsors introducing the Senate bill today, while Reps. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Langevin, Cicilline, Connolly, Perlmutter, and Sires are co-sponsoring the House version.

The No Child Left Inside Act would provide grants for states and school districts to integrate environmental education, including climate change education, into their core academic programs in accordance with statewide environmental literacy plans. It would support critical teacher professional learning and incentivize schools to use school facilities and school grounds for environmental and outdoor learning. The bill would authorize $150 million annually through 2027.

The bill also includes a national pilot program for outdoor school for all programs, which would build on successful statewide models such as those in place in Oregon and Washington.

Environmental education is proven to boost academic achievement across all subject areas and is critical to preparing the next generation of problem solvers and civic leaders. Studies have shown that students are more engaged when learning outdoors and develop important skills such as perseverance, self-confidence, and leadership from these experiences. Students also report feeling more connected to nature.

NAAEE’s Executive Director Judy Braus said, "We are thrilled with the re-introduction of the No Child Left Inside Act. This bill would be transformational in providing more equitable access to environmental and outdoor learning opportunities for students. All students deserve to reap the many benefits of environmental education, which include improved academic achievement and critical thinking skills, reduced stress, and overall health and well-being. We also know that environmental education is key to equipping young people with the skills, tools, and knowledge they will need to tackle the climate crisis and address other complex environmental challenges.”

Sarah Bodor, NAAEE Director of Policy & Affiliate Relations, said, "The NCLI Act has the potential to completely transform preK–12 environmental education, and should energize the environmental, climate change, and outdoor education communities. We have seen much momentum at the state and local levels for more systemic integration of critical EE across the curriculum and at every grade. The NCLI Act offers a significant investment in taking successful programs and initiatives to scale across the country." 

Contact Sarah Bodor for more information, 


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Other organizations endorsing the NCLI Act:


American Federation of Teachers
Association of Nature Center Administrators
Association of Zoos and Aquariums
Children & Nature Network
Choose Outdoors
Earth Force
Elevate Youth
Global Choices
Green Guardians
Institute for Humane Education
Kwauk and Associates
Latino Outdoors
National Education Association
National Science Teaching Association
National Wildlife Federation
North American Association for Environmental Education 
Outdoors Alliance for Kids (OAK)
Preston-Werner Ventures
REI Co-op
Sierra Club
Sustainable Forestry Initiative/Project Learning Tree
The Center for Green Schools at USGBC
The Wild Center
Wilderness Inquiry


Buffalo Audubon Society, Inc.
Cape Cod Hill School
Cathance River Education Alliance
Central Adventure Club
Chesapeake Bay Foundation
Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute
Cincinnati Nature Center
Clear Lake Education Center
Denali Education Center
Dunes Learning Center
Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center
EmpowerEd DC
Environmental Education Alliance (Georgia)
Environmental Educators of North Carolina
Environmental Living and Learning for Maine Students
Friends of Acadia
Friends of the Cobbossee Watershed
Friends of Outdoor School
Gray Family Foundation
Great Smoky Mountains institute at Tremont 
Gulf Coast Bird Observatory 
HealthReach Community Health Centers of Maine
Hitchcock Center for the Environment
Irvine Nature Center
Leaps of Imagination
Leslie Science & Nature Center 
Maine Association for the Education of Young Children
Maine Environmental Education Association
Maine Public Health Association
Maine Youth for Climate Justice
Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education
Mississippi Delta Nature and Learning Center 
Mount St. Helens Institute
Nature Based Education Consortium
Nature at the Confluence
New Hampshire Environmental Educators
Osprey Wilds Environmental Learning Center
Pajarito Environmental Education Center
Pfeiffer Nature Center
Potomac Valley Audubon Society, Inc. 
Rhode Island Environmental Education Association
Ruffner Mountain Nature Coalition, Inc. 
Schenck High School Outdoor Education
Seven Ponds Nature Center 
Severson Dells Nature Center
Shaker Lakes Regional Nature Center 
Springbrook Nature Center
Squam Lakes Natural Science Center
Stokes Nature Center
Teens to Trails
The Ecology School
The Education Action Forum of Maine
The Source School
Trout Lake Nature Center
Tubac Nature Center
Washington Trails Association
White Pine Programs
Wild Bear Nature Center
Wittenbach Wege Center - Lowell Area Schools
Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center
Wyoming Alliance for Environmental Education