Please Act for Critical State Funding for Climate and Environmental Science Literacy & NGSS
This is an Action Alert for Climate and Environmental Science Education…
The following is offered after being contacted by and clarifying the process and actions needed with the House Appropriations Staff, Governor’s office and Gene Sharratt at OSPI/ESD’s.
The Upshot is that the Governor’s request for $6.5 million for climate and environmental science professional development in schools, ESDs and nonprofits was included at $4 million in the Senate Substitute Budget, and $0 in the House Substitute Budget. The budget comparison is provided in table at the bottom of this email message.
The opportunity to truly influence the outcome towards the Governor’s original ask is now.
Here’s what happens next:
- Both the Senate and House substitute budgets move to the Floor of both houses (committee work is mostly done) where surviving bills and the budgets are debated and amended.
- Meanwhile, budget leaders (Senator Rolfes and Represenative Ormsby, plus a few others, perhaps Senator Ranker and Representative Lytton) will begin work to merge the budgets.
- The final budget must be crafted and voted on by the last day of session, March 8, 2018.
Why your efforts are instrumental RIGHT NOW
- The legislators are constantly looking at email messages coming into their phones and computers.
- If they hear NOW from their constituents as well as education, environmental, business, tribal and other leaders, it will sway them.
- Conversely, if they do not hear from us, they will be inclined to think that the provisos are not as important and either let them be further reduced or chopped out altogether.
A Simple Strategy
- Email and inform the Senate Budget leaders (Senator Rolfes and Senator Ranker) and your Senator and let them know that the amended House Substitute Budget does NOT include either proviso.
- Email House Budget leaders (Representative Ormsby and Representative Lytton) and your Representative and let them know you want the two provisos included in the final budget and at a minimum support the level in the Senate Substitute Budget.
Please feel free to personalize to your organization and perspectives, but the basic ask should be in each email.
Senators (including Leadership and your Member):
Our students are about to assessed in science and we know our teaching and student achievement is not at the level of the Next Generation Science Standards. Empirical evidence shows conclusively that instruction in interdisciplinary, locally contextualized, field and project based environmental learning engages diverse students and increases their test scores. I/we are pleased that the Senate has supported $4 million for related OSPI grants to schools, ESD’s and nonprofits. Please increase this funding to $6.5 million per the Governor’s budget. As you may know, the House Appropriations Committee removed the two related provisos completely, a great disservice to our children’s school and life success. Thank you!
Representatives (including Leadership and your Member):
Our students are about to assessed in science and we know our teaching and student achievement is not at the level of the Next Generation Science Standards. Empirical evidence shows conclusively that instruction in interdisciplinary, locally contextualized, field and project based environmental learning engages diverse students and increases their test scores. I/we are concerned that the House Appropriations Committee removed the two related provisos completely in the House Substitute Bill, a great disservice to our children’s school and life success. Please increase this funding to at least $4 million to match the Senate Substitute Bill and preferably to the $6.5 million of the Governor’s budget. Thank you!
Contact and other information to find your Members can be found at http://apps.leg.wa.gov/Rosters/Members
Key Budget Leadership for everyone to contact includes:
- Senator Christine Rolfes, Christine.Rolfes@leg.wa.gov
- Senator Kevin Ranker Kevin.Ranker@leg.wa.gov
- Representative Timm Ormsby, Timm.Ormsby@leg.wa.gov
- Representative Kristine Lytton, Kristine.Lytton@leg.wa.gov
|Governor’s Budget||Senate Budget||House Budget|
|Proviso One $500,000 of the general fund—state appropriation for fiscal year 2019 is provided solely for the educational service districts to address statewide climate and environmental sustainability literacy in all grades by:
(a) Developing statewide professional learning that aligns with the educational learning and academic requirements.
(b) Build frameworks that can translate between classroom-based and outdoor learning environments.
(c) Create assessment tasks for each of the elementary grade levels.
(d) Expand the science fellows network to unserved school districts.
$6,000,000 of the general fund—state appropriation for fiscal year 2019 is provided solely for the office of the superintendent of public instruction to provide grants to school districts and educational service districts for science teacher training in the Next Generation Science Standards including training in the climate science standards. At a minimum school districts shall ensure that teachers in one grade level in each elementary, middle, and high school participate in this science training.
not included in budget
Senate budget includes $4 million for the following:
Science Standards Pro Learning Funding is provided for grants to school districts and educational service districts to support professional learning in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Professional learning is funded for teachers in one grade level in each elementary, middle and high school and will include training on climate change literacy. (General FundState)
not included in budget
not included in budget