Pres. Obama Issues Green Schools Proclamation

Pres. Obama Issues Green Schools Proclamation; Earth Day Network Calls upon Congress and the Administration to Fund Environmental Education

Earth Day Network applauds President Barack Obama’s decision to issue a Presidential Proclamation for the 42nd anniversary of Earth Day lauding the Department of Education’s new Green Ribbon Schools program. We believe, as does the Administration, that green schools provide a solid educational and environmental foundation for our nation’s schoolchildren. 

For more than seven years, Earth Day Network has been a national leader in the burgeoning movement to green America’s schools and played an instrumental role in creating the Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools program. This initiative is not only the first comprehensive green schools program at the federal level, it is a galvanizing force for schools seeking to save money, improve student and staff health, and reduce pollution.

Yet, the Obama Administration’s FY13 budget is at odds with its commitment to green schools and environmental education.

Only a few weeks ago, President Obama’s budget proposal to Congress recommended eliminating nearly $40 million for environmental education programs at the EPA, NOAA and NSF. These proposed cuts – the equivalent to one-fourth of the cost of one F-22 fighter jet – would cripple local and national environmental education programs across the country. Though the Administration also deserves praise for announcing a new federal task force on environmental education at the first ever White House Summit on Environmental Education, these cuts have the potential to seriously hinder support for environmental education and green schools nationwide.

It’s no secret that America’s students deserve the knowledge and skills necessary to thrive in today’s competitive world. That’s why we believe that environmental education and green schools are so important, since they play a critical role in advancing America’s competitiveness in an increasingly complex and challenging world.

As a result, Earth Day Network asks YOU to tell the Administration and Congress to FULLY fund environmental education at the federal level.

To learn more about this critical issue, check out PRI’s Living on Earth interview today with our Education Director, Sean S. Miller, which is playing on public radio stations nationwide this weekend.