ASLA supports legislation that makes environmental education a national priority. Such legislation will help prepare future young people, including future landscape architects, for the many economic and environmental challenges of our nation.
Background and Analysis
In an effort to expand environmental education in schools across the country, U.S. Representatives John Sarbanes (D-MD) and Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) have introduced the No Child Left Inside Act. The bipartisan legislation, which was introduced on February 12, 2015, would amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to help improve environmental education in schools nationwide. Specifically, the legislation would assist with partnerships between school districts, colleges, parks, non-profits, and other community based organizations to help implement environmental curricula. The measure would also assist in providing professional development for teachers on the use of field-based service and experimental learning.
Investments in environmental education will not only connect children with nature, it will also help raise student achievement in other subjects such as math, science, and reading. According to Congressman Sarbanes, “by investing in education that will grow the next generation of innovators, scientists and environmental stewards, we will prepare our workforce of the future to meet the many economic, environmental, and energy-related challenges our country is facing.”
ASLA is a member of the No Child Left Inside Coalition, a consortium of thousands of national and local organizations, working to help schools dedicate more resources to environmental education.
Similar legislation was previously introduced in 111th, 112th, and 113th Congress. However, both Congresses expired before the legislation was enacted into law.
The House version of the bill (H.R. 882) was been referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce and the Senate version of the bill (S. 492) was been referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
Rep. John Sarbanes and co-sponsors
Senator Jack Reed and co-sponsors
Congressman John Sarbanes (MD) Press Release
H.R. 2702, House bill text
S. 492, Senate bill text
Chesapeake Bay Foundation
Outdoors Alliance for Kids Press Release
Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv
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