A climate change education bill in Connecticut

01.09.2019

A proposed bill in Connecticut would, if enacted, apparently make it the first state to require the teaching of climate change in the public schools by law. 

Many states already require the teaching of climate change in effect, through its inclusion in their state science standards, but not as a matter of statute. Connecticut's House Bill 5011, however, would amend the Connecticut General Statutes to require "that the science curriculum of the prescribed courses of study for public schools include the teaching of climate change and that such teaching begin in elementary school."

HB 5011 is not the first such bill in Connecticut. In 2018, Senate Bill 345 originally sought to require the teaching of climate change "consistent with the Next Generation Science Standards" (adopted by Connecticut in 2015), but was then amended only to allow such teaching. Although SB 345 failed, a similar provision was included in HB 5360, which passed the legislature and was signed by the governor.

HB 5011 was introduced on January 9, 2019, by Christine Palm (D-District 36) and referred to the Joint Committee on Education.