A new climate change education bill in Rhode Island

Senate Bill 2039 (PDF), introduced on January 25, 2022, and referred to the Senate Education Committee, would, if enacted, require the state department of education "to develop a set of key environmental, climate, and sustainability principles and concepts" and to take a variety of steps to ensure that they are reflected in Rhode Island's public schools.

Of particular note, the bill calls for the revision of the state science standards for science and social studies where appropriate, for guidance to be given of how to incorporate climate change into mathematics and English language arts, and for teacher professional development in science, civics, and social science to include the key principles and concepts.

Senate Bill 2039 is substantially similar to Senate Bill 464 and House Bill 5625 from 2021, both of which died in committee. Two non-binding resolutions expressing the legislature's support for increased climate education (HR 7471 and the virtually identical SR 2626) were introduced in 2020 but ultimately died in committee.

Glenn Branch
Short Bio

Glenn Branch is Deputy Director of NCSE.

branch@ncse.ngo