A bill requiring climate education in Virginia

Virginia's House Bill 362, prefiled on January 11, 2022, would, if enacted, require instruction on climate change in the state's public schools. The department of education would be required to develop a "program of instruction on the causes of and potential solutions for climate change" by January 1, 2023, and to devote a year to prepare local school boards to incorporate the program. Local school boards would then implement the program during the 2024-2025 school year. The sole sponsor of the bill is Suhas Subramanyam (D-District 87).

Virginia's state science standards received the grade of F in "Making the Grade?" — the 2020 study from NCSE and the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund — for their treatment of climate change. Reacting to the study, a spokesperson for the department of education told the Virginia Mercury (October 30, 2020) that climate change is discussed further in the ancillary curriculum framework, which aids districts in developing curricula to comply with the standards. But it is unclear to what extent districts follow the framework's guidance.

Glenn Branch
Short Bio

Glenn Branch is Deputy Director of NCSE.

branch@ncse.ngo

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