A pair of climate justice instruction bills in Minnesota

Kadunce River Waterfall, Minnesota

Photo by Josh Hild on Unsplash.

Minnesota's House File 550 and the identical Senate File 666 would, if enacted, require 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." HF 550 was introduced on February 1, 2021, and referred to the House Education Policy Committee; SF 666 was introduced on February 4, 2021, and referred to the Senate Education Finance and Policy Committee.

The bills define climate justice as "connecting climate change to social and economic justice issues" and accordingly identify as themes of climate justice instruction not only scientific principles, such as that "climate change is occurring and it is caused by human activities," 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."

Glenn Branch
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Glenn Branch is Deputy Director of NCSE.