Brooklyn, NY — State Senator Andrew Gounardes has introduced legislation to guarantee New York public school students learn about climate change. The legislation requires the Commissioner of Education to develop a model climate change curriculum that would be integrated into science, social studies, history, and health classes in all elementary and secondary schools in New York State.
According to a recent NPR poll, 80% of parents and 86% of teachers across the country want climate change to be taught in the classrooms – but fewer than half of teachers actually discuss it in their classrooms.
Climate change is widely acknowledged by scientists to be an accelerating threat that will require drastic action to limit its toll. Global warming has played a role in worsening disasters such as floods, droughts and terrible wildfires in California and Australia.
“The fact that the biggest existential threat of our time is not a standardized part of our public school curriculum is a glaring hole in our education system. If we are to understand the nature of this complex threat and address it at every level, today’s students must understand the problem. For too long, the public conversation about climate change has been distorted by fossil fuel companies and politicians with an interest in maintaining the status quo. It is now imperative for students to understand the science, the history, the politics and health implications of this global emergency,” said State Senator Andrew Gounardes.