State of Washington
66th Legislature
2019 Regular Session
BySenators Wilson, C., Nguyen, Palumbo, Warnick, Frockt, Hunt, Kuderer, and Saldaña
Read first time 01/24/19.Referred to Committee on Early Learning & K-12 Education.
AN ACT Relating to establishing a comprehensive initiative to increase learning opportunities and improve educational outcomes in climate science literacy; amending RCW 28A.230.020; adding a new section to chapter 28A.415 RCW; creating a new section; providing an effective date; and declaring an emergency.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1. (1) The legislature finds that knowledge, skills, and opportunities in science literacy, emphasizing climate science, should be increased for all students in Washington. The legislature intends to foster capacity between and among the educational sectors to enable continuous and sustainable growth of the learning and teaching of science literacy including climate science literacy. The legislature intends to foster high quality programs to increase the number of students in the kindergarten through twelfth grade pipeline who are prepared and aspire to continue to apply their understanding of how the world works within and across science disciplines to improve the social, economic, and environmental conditions of the local and global community, whether it be at a college, university, or in the workforce.
(2) The legislature also finds that critical knowledge and innovative strategies for effectively teaching climate science can be strengthened by qualified community-based organizations. Community-based organizations are uniquely positioned to assist formal K–12 educators to infuse locally relevant questions, problems, issues, and opportunities so that students learn more about their community's environment, assume a sense of stewardship to conserving fragile ecosystems in a changing climate, and develop empathy for nonhuman organisms. Community-based organizations will extend the classroom learning by partnering and collaborating with school districts to offer teachers learning experiences that can be implemented easily with their students across the K–12 spectrum.
Sec. 2. RCW 28A.230.020 and 2013 c 23 s 48 are each amended to read as follows:
All common schools shall give instruction in reading, handwriting, orthography, written and mental arithmetic, geography, the history of the United States, English grammar, physiology and hygiene with special reference to the effects of alcohol and drug abuse on the human system, science with special reference to the ((environment))environmental and sustainability standards, and such other studies as may be prescribed by rule of the superintendent of public instruction. All teachers shall stress the importance of the cultivation of manners, the fundamental principles of honesty, honor, industry, and economy, the minimum requisites for good health including the beneficial effect of physical exercise and methods to prevent exposure to and transmission of sexually transmitted diseases, and the worth of kindness to all living creatures and the land. The prevention of child abuse may be offered as part of the curriculum in the common schools.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3. A new section is added to chapter 28A.415 RCW to read as follows:
(1) Subject to the availability of amounts appropriated for this specific purpose, the superintendent of public instruction must establish and manage a grant program for nonprofit community-based organizations and educational service districts to create and implement plans to provide teacher training in next generation science standards, including climate science standards. In establishing and managing the grant program, the superintendent of public instruction must use available learning resources and share training resources as open educational resources in accordance with RCW 28A.300.803.
(2) Grant awards must be prioritized for comprehensive and targeted comprehensive schools and communities historically underserved by climate science education. These communities may include, but are not limited to, tribal nations, including tribal compact schools, migrant students, schools with high free and reduced-price lunch populations, rural and remote schools, students in alternative learning education environments, students of color, English language learner students, and students receiving special education services.
(3) When selecting and prioritizing grant recipients, the superintendent of public instruction may consider the applicant's success in providing Washington teachers with professional development related to student progress in achieving successful understandings of climate science standards.
(4) For the purposes of this section:
(a) "Climate science" means the science and engineering practices, cross-cutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas found in the Washington state science standards that lead a student toward climate science literacy, specifically, and science literacy, more generally.
(b) To provide focus and clarity to efforts to increase learning opportunities and improve educational outcomes in science and sustainability literacy with an emphasis on climate science, "climate science literacy" means an understanding of one's influence on climate and climate's influence on individuals, society, and the environment. A climate-literate person can: (i) Understand the essential principles of the earth's climate system; (ii) know how to assess scientifically credible information about climate; (iii) communicate about climate and climate change in a meaningful way; and (iv) make informed and responsible decisions with regard to actions that may affect climate.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 4. This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect July 1, 2019.
--- END ---