Increased Climate Education in K-12 Schools
This resolution requests that the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE), in dialogue with a broad representation from the environmental education community, develop a set of critical environmental and climate principles and concepts which will be infused into all subjects throughout K-12 schools, create learning standards, and ensure that all professional development for teachers includes such principles and concepts. This resolution also urges all state-controlled schools to offer courses in climate and environmental literacy, using the Next Generation Science Standards as an anchor from which to grow. The Senate urges the importance of making new curriculum materials available on the RIDE website to aid schools in developing new programs in environmental literacy. RIDE will consult with teachers, principals, superintendents, and content experts while developing a new curriculum. This resolution highlights the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) as a funding option for schools’ new climate education initiatives. However, it is up to RIDE to find funding within their budget to accomplish this.