California's PTA Adopts Climate Change Resolution For Students

In a vote that could impact schools across the nation, the California State Parent Teacher Association adopted a resolution that urges schools to become proactive on climate change.

Representing about 1 million parents and educators, California’s state PTA urges its units, councils and districts to: 

  • educate parents on the impact of climate change on children’s health and future welfare
  • urge school districts to educate students on climate and energy literacy and human sustainability
  • support programs and strategies that make schools more "climate-safe" and energy efficient to prepare children for climate changes
  • serve as role models for practices that promote energy conservation, renewable energy sources, reducing dependency on automobile travel and encouraging sustainable practices

  • advocate for comprehensive local, state and national legislation to substantially reduce emissions

The California State PTA will submit this resolution to the National PTA, and if adopted, it could quickly spread across schools in the US. 

They are taking on these issues because "The greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere will accumulate over the coming decades and will profoundly impact today’s children as adults and future generations," the resolution says, and "Children represent a particularly vulnerable group already suffering disproportionately from both direct and indirect adverse health effects of climate change."

Next Generation Science Standards

26 states collaborated on developing Next Generation Science Standards for K-12, but since their release in 2013, only 13 states have adopted them – including California and other populous states.

Elementary students learn the evidence behind climate change, as part of every kind of science class.

States that helped develop the curriculum:Climate Change curriculum  

The California State PTA resolution will help get the standards actually implemented in schools across the state, and could be key to bringing other states on board through parental pressure. 

These science standards counter efforts on the right to misinform students about climate change. ALEC and Heartland Institute are pushing legislation in the states that mandates students be taught global warming is "a theory steeped in controversy."

Among its teachings: "warmer is better, doesn’t cause harm," and "it’s natural, not man-made anyway"; "computer models are flawed and there’s no scientific consensus."

In other words – Complete Lies and Misinformation.  

Besides backing ALEC and Heartland, the Koch Brothers  donated $30.5 million to 221 universities for curriculum that supports their worldview.

Last year, the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy launched the Climate Education and Literacy Initiative to make sure students and citizens have science-based information about climate change.

Making progress depends on "a climate-smart citizenry and a next-generation American workforce of city planners, community leaders, engineers, and entrepreneurs who understand the urgent climate change challenge and are equipped with the knowledge, skills, and training to seek and implement solutions," they say.

Read our article, US Green Building Council Launches National Plan to Educate All Students on Sustainability.

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