State Policy Wins for EE Continue in 2022
We're excited by the continued success of state-level efforts to advance environmental and outdoor education through policy. In this blog post, we celebrate key wins in Washington, Maryland, and Maine during their 2022 legislative sessions.
Washington: Outdoor School for All Legislation
Advocates in Washington have succeeded in their efforts to pass a bill in support of outdoor learning experiences and establish an outdoor school for all program aimed at 5th and 6th graders. In passing House Bill 2078 Establishing the Outdoor School for All Program, the legislature also directed up to $10M to support outdoor learning experiences beginning in 2023. Advocates estimate the cost to fully meet the statewide need will require an addiitonal $40M ini funding and have pledged to work with the legislature to secure the funds in a future budget.
Maryland: Green Schools Funding Extension Granted
Effective July 1, 2022, the Maryland general assembly has granted an extension for the distribution of Maryland Association of Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE) Grant through the fiscal year 2028. This extension will allow funds first allocated in 2019 to be spent over a longer period of time, given school closures and other delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of the program is to increase the number of certified green schools in the state.
Maine: Climate Literacy Bill Passes
In Maine, legislators have passed LD 1902 establishing a pilot program to encourage climate change education in Maine public schools. The bill, which was championed by the Maine Environmental Education Association, youth leaders from across the state, and numerous stakeholder groups, will fund climate education professional development for teachers and support partnerships between schools and community-based organizations. The Maine legislator appropriated $2M for initial implementation.
Thank you to all the EE advocates for working to make this happen!