A climate change education bill in Congress

H.R. 4521, the America COMPETES Act of 2022, was amended on the House floor on February 2, 2022, to authorize the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to institute a competitive grant program aimed in part at developing and improving educational material and teacher training on the topic of climate change. The bill passed the House on February 4, 2022, and is now with the Senate.

Among the legislative findings listed in the amendment are "[T]he evidence for human-induced climate change is overwhelming and undeniable" and "Only 30 percent of middle school and 45 percent of high school science teachers understand the extent of the scientific consensus on climate change" — a reference to the NCSE/Penn State survey of climate change educators (PDF) conducted in 2014-2015.

The amendment was introduced by Debbie Dingell (D-Michigan), who previously sponsored or cosponsored bills with similar provisions: H.R. 2310 in 2021, H.R. 2349 in 2019, and H.R. 5606 in 2018. Bills with similar provisions have also appeared in the Senate under the sponsorship of Edward J. Markey (D-Massachusetts): S. 966 in 2021, S. 477 in 2019, and S. 2740 in 2018. NCSE consistently endorsed these bills as important for improving climate literacy.

Glenn Branch
Short Bio

Glenn Branch is Deputy Director of NCSE.

branch@ncse.ngo