July 17, 2015
Legislative Update: The U.S. Senate's Every Child Achieves Act, S.1177, passed the Senate yesterday, 81-17. This is the federal funding bill for education, previously known as the No Child Left Behind Act.
Intact were provisions drawn from the No Child Left Inside Act, that represent historic wins for environmental education:
- Environmental science education would be an allowable subject included in the STEM education grants.
- Environmental literacy would be part of the after school programming sections of the bill.
This is a significant symbolic victory that allows us to make the case to schools across the nation that the Senate voted overwhelmingly, in a bi-partisan vote, to support Environmental Education. The House did so in the 109th Congress. There is dedication across the board to get students outside!
March 9, 2015 (National Journal)
Take the Classroom Outdoors
Rep. John Sarbanes of Maryland is ginning up state and local educators' interest in environmental training simply by introducing a bill.
What a difference introducing a bill makes. Rep. John Sarbanes of Maryland is a rank-and-file Democrat in the House. As such, he doesn't have much power. Yet he has managed to stir up nationwide interest in educating kids about the environment simply by proposing legislation. Read more
On July 16, 2013, Senator Jack Reed (RI) and Congressman John Sarbanes (MD) reintroduced the bipartisan No Child Left Inside (NCLI) Act into the 113th Congress, with 13 Senate cosponsors and 42 in the House. CBF and partners in the NCLI Coalition worked closely with our legislative sponsors in updating the bill language to reflect the fact that many states have already developed plans for environmental literacy and now need support for effective implementation. We were pleased to have Republican co-sponsorship of the bill in both chambers in light of current partisan rancor.
The intent of the NCLI Act is to amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) to provide support for environmental literacy programs in public education. While ESEA has not yet been taken up on the floor of either chamber, the Senate draft reported out of committee contains strong language in support of federal funds for environmental education and our champions on the Senate and House committees have assured us they are prepared to offer amendments to any version of ESEA that would embed the principles of the NCLI Act into the final education bill.
We continue to closely monitor this process and pursue all opportunities to work with our sponsors and coalition partners to build on our success and pursue additional opportunities to advance environmental literacy through ESEA.
Rep. Sarbanes' Environmental Literacy Message
Thank you Representative Sarbanes for your continued support of the No Child Left Inside movement. Watch his video message about environmental literacy.
Support the NCLI Coalition
You can now make online donations to support the advocacy work of the NCLI Coalition! Please consider contributing to NCLI this holiday season—what better gift can we give to our children and grandchildren than the opportunity to learn, play, and explore their natural world through environmental and outdoor education? Donations can be made anytime.
The No Child Left Inside® Coalition is composed of environmental, educational, and public health organizations, businesses, civic organizations and other public enterprises, all dedicated to ensuring a comprehensive education for all.