Climate Change Education Acts in Congress

05.01.2018

Photograph: Architect of the Capitol, via Wikimedia Commons.A pair of bills introduced in Congress in April 2018 — S. 2740 in the Senate; H.R. 5606 in the House of Representatives — would authorize the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to institute a competitive grant program aimed in part at developing and improving educational material and teacher training on the topic of climate change.

Among the findings listed in the bills are "[T]he evidence for human-induced climate change is overwhelming and undeniable" and "Only 30 percent of middle school and 45 percent of high school science teachers understand the extent of the scientific consensus on climate change" — a reference to the NCSE/Penn State survey of climate change educators (PDF).

NCSE is among the organizations endorsing the bills. NCSE's executive director Ann Reid commented, "The Climate Change Education Act addresses a critically important need. Teachers urgently need and want support to cover climate change accurately and effectively. Federal funding to support the development of high-quality evidence-based teaching resources ultimately will benefit millions of students."

S. 2740 was sponsored by Edward J. Markey (D-Massachusetts), joined by seven colleagues in the Senate; Markey previously introduced a similar measure (SA 2175 to S. 1177) in the Senate in 2015. H.R. 5606 was sponsored by Carol Shea-Porter (D-New Hampshire 1), joined by thirteen colleagues in the House of Representatives.