A pair of identical climate change education bills, House Bill 4643 and Senate Bill 2785, have replaced House Bill 614 and Senate Bill 311, originally introduced in 2021, as NCSE previously reported.
If enacted, the prior bills would have "implement[ed] an elementary and secondary interdisciplinary climate education curriculum" in Massachusetts, initiated processes to revise state standards for science and technology and history and social studies to include relevant and interdisciplinary climate change standards to provide students with a deeper understanding of various issues related to climate change, including "climate policy, climate justice, and climate activism," and required the state department of elementary and secondary education to provide "professional development opportunities for educators on the history and social science and science and technology frameworks."
In contrast, the replacement bills would, if enacted, require only that environmental science standards promote the understanding of climate change "including, but not limited to: (i) the human impact on the carbon cycle; (ii) the effect of climate change on life that exists on Earth; (iii) the effects of the environment on health, economics, and agricultural systems; (iv) the impact of climate change on the water cycle; and (v) the impact of the environment on natural disasters and weather." They would allow, but not require, districts and schools to incorporate these standards into existing curricula, and similarly allow, but not require, the department of education to aid them in doing so.
Both replacement bills were approved by the Joint Committee on Education; House Bill 4643 is now with the House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Bill 2785 is now with the Senate Ways and Means Committee.