Senate Bill 4781 would, if enacted, require the state commissioner of education to "make recommendations to the board of regents relating to adjusting curricula for social studies, economics, geography, and government classes in New York schools to include requirements for climate change education." Topics would include the social, cultural, and political impacts of climate change, the global effects of climate change, global efforts to address climate change, the disproportionate impact of climate change on particular communities, and climate denialism. The bill was introduced by Rachel May (D and Working Families-District 53), and referred to the Senate Committee on Education.
No fewer than six previous bills currently active in the New York state legislature also seek to support climate change education. Five of them, Assembly Bill 3468, Assembly Bill 2325 and the identical Senate Bill 1081, Senate Bill 596 (also sponsored by May), and Senate Bill 654, similarly require the state commissioner of education to establish a model curriculum for or offer recommendations about climate change instruction; the sixth, Assembly Bill 617, would establish a program "to award grants to eligible applicants to support climate change education grant programs for young people or to provide optional teacher training or professional development programs relevant to the advance of climate change literacy in young people."