Maine Climate Education Grant Program
Policy Type Legend
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Outdoor Learning in Schools
Early Childhood Education
In 2022, Maine introduced a Resolve, To Establish a Pilot Program To Encourage Climate Education in Maine Public Schools (LD 1902). This bill supports districts in providing professional development on climate education to educators by leveraging community partnerships.
The bill will establish a 3-year pilot grant program within the Department of Education for professional development with K-12 public school educators on climate science and interdisciplinary climate education. If fully funded, the grant program will provide $3,000,000 over three years to school districts to partner with non-profit community organizations to create and implement teacher training. This bill also creates a limited-period position to administer the pilot program through June 2025.
The grants through the pilot program will prioritize underserved schools, communities, and students, including tribal schools, schools with high populations of students who receive free and reduced-price lunches, rural and remote schools, students in alternative learning environments, students of color, English language learners and students receiving special education services. The bill aims to support teachers in meeting existing climate education standards present in the Next generation Science Standards, and to do so in an interdisciplinary way.
Leaders within the Nature Based Education Consortium’s (NBEC) Climate Education Advocacy Working Group co-developed this policy with Maine House Representative Lydia Blume, based on the shared vision of the network, as well as the growing momentum around climate education across Maine and beyond. This working group was formed in March 2020, when participants in NBEC convenings elevated climate education as an important priority they wanted to see advanced through the network. In the summer of 2020, this working group worked collaboratively to successfully advocate for including climate education goals to the “Maine Won’t Wait” Climate Action Plan. This bill has been informed and developed by a range of stakeholder voices, including hundreds of teachers, students, and community organizations throughout the state at the Maine Climate Education Summit in the summer of 2021. Additionally, involvement by the Maine Department of Education and results from the 2019 Census of Community-Based Environmental Learning in Maine offered the NBEC Climate Education Advocacy working group with stakeholder feedback to develop a climate education policy inspired by Washington’s ClimeTime.
In 2021, NBEC’s Climate Education Advocacy working group began to develop a climate education bill for Maine, and by spring of 2022, the bill was passed in the House and the Senate and was awarded $2.094 million by the Appropriations Committee.
Most Recent Yearly Funding
Continuing or One-time Funding
General Fund, Liquor Operation Revenue Fund
Path to Enactment