Inviting School Infrastructure and Sustainability Commitments
The U.S. Department of Education invites national, regional, and local nonprofits, foundations, businesses, and community-based organizations to share commitment(s) to advance school sustainability, encompassing infrastructure, health, environmental sustainability education, climate, and environmental justice in America. These commitments help to demonstrate the scope and depth of how organizations and businesses are addressing school infrastructure and sustainability across the nation and inspire additional pledges of support.
As leaders in this field, you are aware of the bold actions that are needed to ensure all students have equitable access to healthy, safe, sustainable, 21st-century school facilities and environmental sustainability education. By May 31, we ask that you please share how your organization or entity will advance at least one of these infrastructure and sustainability priorities:
- Priority #1: Ensure equitable access to healthy, safe, sustainable, 21st-century physical learning environments.
- Priority #2: Develop, maintain, and provide environmental sustainability learning, such as climate literacy, green workforce development, and outdoor learning.
- Priority #3: Build capacity for infrastructure, sustainability, environmental justice, and climate mitigation and adaptation in schools.
Process for U.S. Department of Education School Infrastructure and Sustainability Commitments
- Complete the online form to register your commitment by May 31, 2023.
- Around the time of our August 8 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools awards ceremony, we will share selected commitments in a press release, blog, social media, and other mediums.
- For continued amplification of your commitment and results, stay in touch with us as to how you are progressing toward your goals. Allow us to continue to share the story of how you are striving for measurable change.
- Share this opportunity with your partner organizations and encourage them to complete the commitments as well.
Commitment Submission Guidelines
We encourage you to address at least one of the following parameters in your commitment submission:
- Environmental Justice: How does your commitment account for and take actions to promote environmental justice, so that all students have equitable access to safe, healthy, sustainable, and modern school environments and engaging environmental sustainability education?
- Health: How does this work ensure access to sustainable school buildings and grounds that are healthy environments for learning?
- Climate Action: How does this effort help education leaders understand their role and act on climate issues, including mitigation, adaptation, and climate education?
- Capacity Building: How does this work build school district and state education agency capacity to continuously improve school environments and environmental sustainability learning?
- Data Collection and Standardization: How will your commitment advance data collection and standardization on infrastructure and sustainability, with a view toward informed and equitable policymaking?
- Transparency and Goal-Setting: How do you plan to achieve the outcomes? What is the unit of change, and why do you think your approach will work?
Example commitments might include:
- Plans to bolster environmental, sustainability, and climate education in X number of schools in the country by doing Y over Z timeframe.
- A partnership to bring indoor air quality technical assistance to X number of school districts annually for Y years.
- A pledge of Y dollars toward a specific school infrastructure purpose that mitigates climate change, reduces utility costs, and improves health and learning outcomes.
- A proposal of X practices to Y schools which will enable more healthy, nutritious, local, student-grown produce in cafeterias.
- A commitment of X dollars into Y community(ies) in support of any or all of the following: infrastructure, environmental justice, health, climate, or whole school sustainability.