Climate crisis education missing in Massachusetts schools

Published: 3/22/2023 5:07:44 PM

Massachusetts is in last place when it comes to teaching students about the climate crisis. Last week’s “Education is missing from Massachusetts’ climate plans, advocates say” (Dharna Noor, Boston Globe) discusses failed efforts to bring a climate curriculum to our schools. Meanwhile, New Jersey, the first state to mandate one, has a robust curriculum addressed in science, technology, social studies and the arts. Last year, Connecticut became the second state to do so, and Oregon, California, and New York plans to follow suit.

Massachusetts’ children deserve the same support to deal with present and future realities. As educators, we know that some of our students know enough about climate change to carry intense anxiety, lacking contexts to talk about it or address it. Most others, sadly know little or nothing about a crisis that will carry a devastating impact on their lives as temperatures soar, storms worsen, and refugees flee hard-hit areas. Student activists, environmental advocates and teachers have developed a robust, interdisciplinary curriculum that could be integrated into existing Massachusetts standards. However, last year’s effort to bring a climate education bills to the Legislature (H.496) died in the chamber.

This year, Representative James Hawkins and Senator Julian Cyr have introduced a new version (H614). We need to make sure this passes. Our young people have everything at stake. They deserve an education that prepares them for the fight of their lives, and the lives of much of our planetary ecosystem. Please write to your state representative and senator and ask them to co-sponsor new bills by Representative Hawkins (H614) and Senator Cyr (S.260) so that Massachusetts schools can prepare our children for their future and ours.

Bram Moreinis

Greening Greenfield


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