Minnesota's climate justice instruction bills die in committee

Minnesota Capitol

Minnesota's House File 550 and Senate File 666 died in committee on March 25, 2022, the deadline for committees to act favorably on bills in the house of origin. The identical bills would have, if enacted, required school districts and charter schools in the state to provide climate justice instruction "aligned with current scientific research and integrated into existing programs, curriculum, or the general school environment."

The bills defined climate justice as "connecting climate change to social and economic justice issues" and accordingly identified as themes of climate justice instruction not only scientific principles, but also social and economic issues, such as climate change's "disproportionate effects on communities already facing systemic oppression" and its "interconnected effects on inequity, systemic oppression, and injustice."

The Education Policy Committee passed House File 550 at its February 23, 2022, meeting, after hearing testimony from supporters affiliated with Yea! (Youth Environmental Advocates) and Climate Generation (which received NCSE's Friend of the Planet award in 2021). But the bill was then referred to the Education Finance Committee, where it eventually died. Its counterpart, Senate Bill 666, did not receive a committee hearing.

Glenn Branch
Short Bio

Glenn Branch is Deputy Director of NCSE.