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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: March 9, 2020 11:15 AM
From: Representative Stephen McCarter
To: All House members
Subject: Climate Change Education in Public Schools

The upcoming 50th anniversary of Earth Day underscores the critical importance of not only celebrating our stewardship to the planet but of actually facilitating it through education about climate change—a universal reality but something not always taught in Pennsylvania schools. Communities such as Portland, Oregon, have reworked their curricula to redefine what it means to educate students for a future of certain climate change, while states such as Connecticut have considered mandating the teaching of climate change starting in elementary school. It is time for Pennsylvania lawmakers to prioritize educating our youth on this issue, as well.
My legislation would mandate that every public school in Pennsylvania provide instruction on climate change beginning in elementary school to enhance our students’ knowledge about the environment. My bill would also require that this curriculum align with the Next Generation Science Standards. These standards, which have been embraced by 26 states, are K-12 science content standards developed by states to improve the content of science education for all students.
More than 80 percent of parents in the United States support the teaching of climate change, and this support, as it should, crosses political divides. Climate change should not be a politicized issue; it is an issue that all the youth of our Commonwealth will certainly face. Let’s do everything we can to help them do so.
Please consider joining me in supporting this legislation and providing our youth the science education they need to prepare them for the future.

Introduced as HB2795