Amended climate change education bills in New York

New York City skyline.

Newly amended versions of New York's Senate Bill 278 and Assembly Bill 1559 bring the bills into alignment with the Climate Education Platform of the Climate and Resilience Task Force, a project of the National Wildlife Federation in New York City and WE ACT for Environmental Justice.

If enacted, Senate Bill 278A and Assembly Bill 1559A would establish "a course of instruction and learning expectations on climate education in all public pre-kindergarten, elementary and secondary schools." Moreover, the bills would enable educators to explore the causes and impacts of climate change as well as its solutions; provide professional learning opportunities, curricular resources, and ongoing support for teachers; develop green Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs and assessment instruments related to climate education; establish expectations for pre-service teacher certification programs; and establish a coordinating Office of Climate Education and Workforce Development.

In a December 7, 2023, blog post, Emily Fano of the National Wildlife Federation expressed enthusiasm for the amended legislation, writing, "New York's youngest citizens deserve a comprehensive education that equips them with the understanding and skills needed to navigate the complex challenges of our time. S.278A will deliver."

Glenn Branch
Short Bio

Glenn Branch is Deputy Director of NCSE.