OLR Bill Analysis

SB 345 (File 288, as amended by Senate "A")*

AN ACT CONCERNING CLIMATE CHANGE EDUCATION IN CONNECTICUT SCHOOLS.

SUMMARY

This bill requires the State Board of Education (SBE) to encourage and help school boards include climate change consistent with the Next Generation Science Standards as part of the program of instruction the law allows them to offer in the public schools. SBE must do this within available appropriations and using available resources, but the bill requires the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to be available to school boards to develop climate change curriculum.

The public school program of instruction required by law includes science. The bill specifies that science instruction may include the climate change curriculum provided in the Next Generation Science Standards.

The Next Generation Science Standards are K-12 research-based science content standards. The standard's foundational document provides that climate changes are significant and persistent changes in the average or extreme weather conditions of an area (National Research Council. 2012. A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas, Washington, DC: The National Academies Press). SBE adopted the standards in 2015 with the intent of implementing them over a five-year period.

*Senate Amendment “A” (1) allows, rather than requires, the public school program of instruction to include the specified climate change curriculum and (2) requires SBE to help and encourage school boards to include the climate change curriculum as part of an offered program of instruction in science.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2018

COMMITTEE ACTION

Environment Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

17

Nay

13

(03/22/2018)