AP NEWS

Bill would require schools to have climate change lessons

December 30, 2019 GMT

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A bill up for consideration before the New Hampshire Legislature in 2020 would require school districts to offer lessons on climate change.

The House bill would require at least 10 hours of climate education or a full semester of environmental education in high school, and anywhere from two hours to eight hours for younger students. It would take effect July 1, 2021.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Chris Balch, a Democrat from Hillsborough, said some teachers incorporate climate change into their science curriculum, but it’s the state’s responsibility to prioritize it.

“We need to have a common base of knowledge of what climate change is, how it works, how it happens, what we can do about it,” he told New Hampshire Public Radio.

Climate change education varies across states, and often from one classroom to the next. Nationally, many teachers report that they shy away from the topic, not only because of issues with materials, but also the political sensitivities, and uncertainty over where to introduce an issue that crosses so many disciplines.

The bill focuses on causes and effects of climate change in New Hampshire and beyond; maximizing energy efficiency in homes and schools; information about careers in solar, wind, hydrogen power; and other topics.