Governor Brown Signs Environmental Literacy Education Bill

Earlier this month, Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 720 (Allen, Chapter 374, Statutes of 2018), which aims to increase environmental literacy for California K-12 students.

The bill signing occurred aboard an electric ferry in San Francisco Bay during the California Climate Action Summit.

SB 720 reaffirms the state’s commitment to environmental education and establishes the Environmental Principles and Concepts (EP&Cs) as a fundamental to California’s definition of environmental literacy.

Other highlights of the bill include:

  • An explicit definition of the state’s environmental literacy goals.
  • Directs the superintendent of public instruction to use the resources of their office to further the goals of environmental literacy.
  • Amends the topics to be covered in the EP&Cs to include climate change
  • Outlines the public process for updating the EP&Cs so they are based on the most current scientific and technical knowledge.

As the state environmental agency tasked with developing and distributing the Education and the Environment Initiative Curriculum, a model curriculum that demonstrates how the EP&Cs can be taught in a standards-based instructional environment, we firmly believe that environmental literacy is an essential strategy for achieving California’s environmental quality, conservation and environmental justice goals.

We look forward to working with the stakeholders identified in SB 720 to make sure environmental literacy becomes a reality for all California students.

To read the full text of SB 720, click here.

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