U.S. Congressman John P. Sarbanes (D-Md.) today joined U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson at the White House Summit on Environmental Education. At the summit, he addressed a panel focused on ways the federal government can connect environmental education partners.
"I am very pleased to be a part of today's White House Summit on Environmental Education and I commend the President for convening it," said Congressman Sarbanes, who is a leader in promoting environmental education and authored the No Child Left Inside Act.
"Environmental education must be a national priority," he continued. "Research shows that hands-on, outdoor environmental education has a measurably positive impact not only on student achievement in science, but also in reading, math and social studies. If we are going to successfully meet the many economic, environmental, and energy related challenges we now face, we must invest in environmental education to grow the next generation of innovators, scientists and environmental stewards."
The White House summit brought together a diverse group of stakeholders to discuss the importance of environmental education and the core concepts and principles that contribute the most to environmental literacy. At the summit, EPA Administrator Jackson announced the creation of a federal task force that will help create a national plan for environmental education. The task force will be co-chaired by the Departments of Education and Interior, and the EPA.
Last summer, Congressman Sarbanes reintroduced the No Child Left Inside Act, which would authorize funding for states to provide high-quality, environmental education by supporting outdoor learning activities at both schools and non-formal environmental education centers, as well as teacher professional development and the creation of state environmental literacy plans.
For more information about the Congressman's work for the environment and the No Child Left Inside Act, please visit: http://sarbanes.house.gov/free_details.asp?id=73