Climate change education bill in Maine progresses further

Maine's House Paper 1409 (PDF), which would, if enacted, direct the state commissioner of education to establish a pilot program to provide professional development grants for climate education, passed the Senate on March 9, 2022, after passing the House of Representatives on February 23, 2022.

The three-year pilot program would assist "school districts in partnering with nonprofit community-based organizations to create and implement plans to provide teacher training in [the] [N]ext [G]eneration [S]cience [S]tandards and interdisciplinary climate education," with priority given to historically underserved schools and communities. The program would receive $3 million in funding from the state.

Ever since a NCSE/Penn State survey (PDF) conducted in 2014-2015 revealed the systematic underpreparation of public school science educators to teach climate change, legislative interest in addressing the problem swelled, with legislation to provide and fund teacher professional development on climate change introduced in a number of states and successfully enacted in Washington and California.

The bill still needs to receive the approval of the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee, according to Spectrum News (March 9, 2002). Maine's House Paper 1409 is sponsored by Lydia Blume (D-District 3) and five of her colleagues in the House of Representatives and David Woodsome (R-District 33) and two of his colleagues in the Senate.

Glenn Branch
Short Bio

Glenn Branch is Deputy Director of NCSE.

branch@ncse.ngo