A legislative proposal in Connecticut would mandate instruction on climate change in public schools statewide, beginning in elementary school.
Connecticut already has adopted science standards that call for teaching of climate change, but if the bill passes it is believed that it would be the country’s first to write such a requirement into law.
“A lot of schools make the study of climate change an elective, and I don’t believe it should be an elective,” said state Rep. Christine Palm, a Democrat from Chester who proposed the bill. “I think it should be mandatory, and I think it should be early so there’s no excuse for kids to grow up ignorant of what’s at stake.”
Some educators have questioned whether it’s necessary in light of Connecticut’s adoption in 2015 of the Next Generation Science Standards, which include climate change as a core aspect of science education beginning in middle school.
“I do believe if the state has adopted standards, you’re teaching those standards, you’re going to be assessed on those standards,” said Fran Rabinowitz, executive director of the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents. “If you’re a district in Connecticut, your curriculum is addressing it already.”