THE PROBLEM
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No Child Left Inside

No Child Left Inside Act (HR3036)

The House Education and Labor Committee approved an amended version of the No Child Left Inside Act (HR 3036) on June 18, 2008 in a relatively bipartisan vote. NCLI originally amended the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). But with reauthorization of NCLB stuck in both the House and Senate, the Committee stripped all but a few provisions from the original bill introduced by Congressman John Sarbanes so that it no longer amends NCLB. Instead, it reauthorizes the long expired (but still funded by Congress) National Environmental Education Act of 1990 for one year, with the 1995 appropriation level of $14 million.

The two significant provisions left in the new version from the original NCLI bill by the Committee are:

1. the National EE Capacity Building Grants program, which will be administered by the Department of Education and which the new bill allows Congress to fund outside the $14 million cap for the rest of the bill’s programs. States as well as NGOS and schools may apply for these grants; however, to receive these funds, a state must have an approved environmental literacy plan in place or use the funds to create one.

2. Some of the original uses of teacher training funds have been incorporated into the purposes of the NEEA’s Environmental Education and Training Program.

The bill is expected to go to a vote in the full House of Representatives September 9th, 2008. While chances of subsequent Senate action and passage on this bill are slim, it is nonetheless important to rally support for this bill to build momentum for next year.