Climate science literacy bills in Washington

01.28.2019

A pair of identical bills in the Washington state legislature, House Bill 1496 and Senate Bill 5576, are aimed at "establishing a comprehensive initiative to increase learning opportunities and improve educational outcomes in climate science literacy."

Affirming that "knowledge, skills, and opportunities in science literacy, emphasizing climate science, should be increased for all students in Washington," both bills propose to replace a reference to "environment" with a reference to "environmental and sustainability standards" in a section of the Washington state code listing required areas of instruction for the state's public schools, thus placing a new emphasis on sustainability..

Affirming that "critical knowledge and innovative strategies for effectively teaching climate science can be strengthened by qualified community-based organizations," both bills also propose to establish a grant program for nonprofit community-based organizations and educational service districts to provide teacher training in the Next Generation Science Standards, "including climate change standards."

House Bill 1496 was introduced on January 23, 2019, and referred to the House Committee on Education; Senate Bill 5576 was introduced on January 24, 2019, and referred to the Senate Committee on Early Learning & K-12 Education.