New Programs Hold Promise for EE & Climate Change Education
While we wait to see whether Congress can pass a budget for the next fiscal year (which begins October 1), and how EE funding might fare, there are some bright spots for environmental educators and EE advocates to celebrate this month. A new bill to strengthen and expand the federal Green Ribbon Schools program has been introduced and the Biden Administration has just announced an American Climate Corps program.
American Climate Corps Launched
The White House has announced the launch of an American Climate Corps to provide education and training to more than 20,000 young people that will allow them develop the skills needed to fulfill jobs in the growing sectors associated with a clean energy economy. This is great news for advocates who had been hoping for such a program to be included in the bipartisan infrastructure bill that passed in the last congress. The new program--which will be coordinated across six federal agencies--aims to provide paid workforce training and service opportunities in conservation and restoration, community resilience, clean energy technology, and more. The White House is invited anyone interested in joining or supporting the American Climate Corps to sign up for more information.
Green Ribbon Act Introduced
Earlier this month, Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Representatives Jahana Hayes (D-CT) and Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) introduced the Green Ribbon Act to promote environmental education, health and wellness, social equity, and sustainability literacy in schools and other learning institutions across the United States. The legislation would build upon the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Program, which was established in 2011. Among other things, it would provide funding to support state capacity to participate in the program, create a modest cash award to green ribbon recipients, and establish an Office of Infrastructure and Sustainability at U.S. Department of Education. NAAEE is excited to help build support for this legislation, which has been bolstered by the hard work of colleagues at the Campaign for Environmental Literacy, USGBC's Center for Green Schools, and the National Wildlife Federation. Rep. Hayes' press release about the bill can be found here.