State Democrats propose a bill to require climate education in schools


FILE – In this July 21, 2020 file photo, Swiss photographer David Carlier takes photographs of the Swiss Aletsch glacier, the longest glacier in Europe, on the sideline of his photographic exhibition, in Fieschertal, Switzerland. Climate change is increasingly damaging the U.N.’s most cherished heritage sites, a leading conservation agency warned Wednesday Dec. 2, 2020, reporting that Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and dozens of other natural wonders are facing severe threats. (Laurent Gillieron/Keystone via AP, File)

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Democrats in the State House have introduced a bill that would require Michigan schools to teach children about climate change.

The bill would create a 12-member “commission on climate education in K to 12 instruction” within the Michigan Department of Education. It would include eight experts appointed by the governor from eight separate universities, including Michigan State University.

The remaining members would be two social studies or science teachers, again appointed by the governor, as well as two climate change experts appointed by the superintendent of schools and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy. None of the commission’s members would be compensated.

That commission would be responsible for creating recommendations on climate instruction for all grades from kindergarten through high school. That would include a comparison of fossil fuels versus clean energy, the impact of energy production on public health, environmental justice, the impact of climate change on water systems, and potential solutions for climate change at the local and international levels. Once the work is done, the commission would be dissolved.

The state school board would use those recommendations to update Michigan’s core academic curriculum. Every school district would be required to provide climate instruction to students by the 2025-2026 school year.

The bill was introduced by four State House Democrats, including State Rep. Julie Brixie from Meridian Township.

Click here to read the bill for yourself. It has been referred to the State House Committee on Education.

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