If you haven’t heard, USEE has been hard at work on creating an environmental literacy plan to be implemented in Utah’s schools. A recent article posted by the Maryland No Child Left Inside Coalition shows that Utah is not the only state that shares this passion and driving force for environmental literacy. Maryland has recently become the first state to require that each student be environmentally literate before he or she graduates high school. This is the first state to pass an environmental literacy graduation requirement.
Through the board vote, now any state with a strong environmental literacy plan has the potential to receive federal funding. The No Child Left Inside Act, which is to soon be reintroduced in Congress will additionally provide some federal funding and help states obtain resources for staff training in environmental education.
Schools tend to fall behind in the environmental movement because they are so focused on hard science and math test scores. However, studies show that environmental education has a a strong positive impact on student achievement in science, math, reading, and social studies. It is no surprise that students with a base of environmental knowledge will lead healthier lives. Maryland’s Governor O’Malley states, “Only through exposure to nature and education about our fragile ecosystem can we create the next generation of stewards.”
Congratulations to the state of Maryland and may we be not far behind!!
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