HOUSE BILL 2026
State of Washington 57th Legislature 2001 Regular Session
By Representatives Haigh, Cox, Kagi, Ericksen, Keiser, Hunt, Lovick, Doumit, Linville, Eickmeyer, Barlean, D. Schmidt, Ogden, Tokuda, Conway, Edmonds and Santos
Read first time 02/13/2001. Referred to Committee on Education.
AN ACT Relating to the environmental education partnership fund; adding new sections to chapter 28A.300 RCW; and creating a new section.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
NEW SECTION. Sec. 1. (1) The state of Washington faces many complex environmental issues requiring a well-informed citizenry. Effective environmental education programs provide the foundation for the development of environmentally literate children and adults, setting the stage for lifelong learning. Furthermore, environmental education offers many opportunities for achieving excellence in our schools. Well-designed programs, integrated with the state's essential academic learning requirements, can contribute to the state's educational reform goals. Recent studies have shown that integrated, multidisciplinary environmental education programs provide the following benefits:
(a) Better performance on standardized measures of academic achievement in reading, writing, math, science, and social studies;
(b) Increased engagement and enthusiasm for learning;
(c) Reduced discipline and classroom management problems; and
(d) Greater pride and ownership in accomplishments.
(2) Therefore, the purpose of the environmental education partnership trust fund is to further the development of environmental education in the state by:
(a) Raising money from public and private sources to fund environmental education initiatives and programs throughout the state; and
(b) Disbursing the money to programs through a competitive grant-making process with oversight from a board of trustees managed in the office of the superintendent of public instruction. These activities would include, but are not limited to:
(i) Developing a statewide plan to set priorities for environmental education;
(ii) Encouraging the development of environmental education projects in schools, outdoor learning areas, communities, and businesses;
(iii) Enhancing preservice training in environmental education for future educators;
(iv) Providing continuing in-service training for educators;
(v) Providing for transportation services to learning sites;
(vi) Supporting conferences and meetings that focus on environmental education needs and issues; and
(vii) Providing for the purchase of equipment and supplies needed for the implementation of the programs in this section.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 2. A new section is added to chapter 28A.300 RCW to read as follows:
(1) The Washington environmental education partnership fund is hereby created to provide environmental education opportunities for teachers and students to meet the Washington high school graduation requirements and to help achieve the highest quality of excellence in education through compliance with the essential academic learning requirements.
(2) Under the partnership fund in this section, funds shall be disbursed through grants with oversight from a board of trustees managed in the office of the superintendent of public instruction.
(3) The board of trustees, representing a diverse array of interests, backgrounds, and geographical location, shall consist of thirteen members.
(4) Eleven members of the board shall be appointed by the governor and include representation from:
(a) Tribal governments;
(b) Environmental education practitioners;
(c) Environmental organizations;
(d) Agriculture, business, and industry;
(e) K-12 public and private school administrators;
(f) K-12 public and private school teachers;
(g) Nonformal education institutions;
(h) Institutions of higher education;
(i) Local governments; and
(5) One member of the board shall be a senator, appointed by the majority leader of the senate, and one member of the board shall be a representative, appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 3. A new section is added to chapter 28A.300 RCW to read as follows:
(1) Money raised from public and private sources shall fund effective environmental education activities throughout the state. These activities may include:
(a) Transportation for students and teachers to education sites;
(b) Environmental education projects, both in the classroom and outdoors;
(c) Preservice training for future educators;
(d) In-service training for educators; and
(e) Supplies needed for implementation of the programs in this subsection (1).
(2) The board of trustees shall establish and publish funding criteria. These criteria shall be based on compliance with the essential academic learning requirements. The criteria may also include environmental education programs with one or more of the following features:
(a) Methods that encourage critical thinking;
(b) Multidisciplinary approaches to environmental issues;
(c) Service learning components; and
(d) Programs that target underserved and multicultural populations.
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