Library of Congress Summary
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.
9/18/2008--Passed House amended.
No Child Left Inside Act of 2008 - Amends the National Environmental Education Act (the Act) to add to the minimum functions and activities required of grantees under the Environmental Education and Training program, which trains educational professionals in the development and delivery of environmental education and training.
Requires such grantees to:
(1) create opportunities for enhanced and ongoing professional development, in addition to classroom training;
(2) ensure that their environmental education programs and curricula are aligned with challenging state and local academic content standards and advance the teaching of interdisciplinary courses that include strong field components;
(3) bring teachers into contact with working environmental professionals;
(4) provide environmental education distance learning programs for teachers using curricula that are innovative, content-based, and based on current, scientifically valid research;
(5) encourage individuals traditionally underrepresented in environmental careers to pursue postsecondary degrees toward such careers;
(6) establish programs to prepare teachers to provide environmental education professional development to their colleagues and programs to promote outdoor environmental education activities as part of the regular school curriculum;
(7) include summer workshops or institutes for elementary and secondary school environmental education teachers; and
(8) encourage mid-career environmental professionals to pursue environmental education careers.
Authorizes FY2009 appropriations for the National Environmental Education program.
Authorizes the Secretary of Education to award competitive, matching, one-to-three-year grants to nonprofit organizations, states, local educational agencies, municipalities, or institutions of higher education for activities to improve and support environmental education that include:
(1) advancing content and achievement standards;
(2) developing or disseminating innovations or model programs;
(3) research, particularly on integrating environmental education in the study of other subjects; and
(4) capacity-building measures to increase the number of elementary and secondary environmental education teachers.
Requires state grantees to have peer-reviewed state environmental literacy plans or develop state environmental literacy plans that describe:
(1) how the state will measure student environmental literacy;
(2) programs of professional development to improve teachers' environmental knowledge and teaching skills; and
(3) how the plan will be implemented.
Allows non-state grantees to use their grants to develop state environmental literacy plans, provided they consult with the state.
Conditions a grantee's continued receipt of funds, after the first year of a multi-year grant, on its reporting annually to the Secretary on its grant-assisted activities and the success of such activities measured in accordance with the evaluation and accountability plan which each grantee is required to formulate prior to receiving such grant.
Sets the federal share of grant program costs at 90% for the first year, 75% for the second year, and 50% for each subsequent year.
Directs the Secretary to report to Congress, within one year of this Act's enactment, on activities assisted by such grants.
Authorizes FY2009 appropriations for the grant program.
Directs the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Secretary, and the National Environmental Education and Training Foundation to each establish program quality indicators for those programs funded under the Act (other than certain fellowship awards) that they administer.
Requires such quality measures, at a minimum, to indicate whether a program or activity:
(1) enhances understanding of the natural and built environment;
(2) fosters greater appreciation of the interdisciplinary nature of environmental issues;
(3) increases achievement in related areas of national interest, such as mathematics and science;
(4) increases understanding of the benefits of being exposed to nature;
(5) improves understanding of the interaction of human and natural systems; and
(6) broadens environmental awareness.
Directs recipients of funds under the Act to report annually on their progress in meeting such minimum quality measures.
Prohibits the Act from being construed or used to assert federal control over state and local educational decisions.
House Democratic Caucus Summary
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