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S. 1492 (109th): Chesapeake Bay Environmental Education Pilot Program Act


The text of the bill below is as of Jul 26, 2005 (Introduced). The bill was not enacted into law.


II

109th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 1492

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

July 26, 2005

(for himself, Ms. Mikulski, Mr. Warner, and Mr. Allen) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

A BILL

To amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to establish a pilot program to make grants to eligible institutions to develop, demonstrate, or disseminate information on practices, methods, or techniques relating to environmental education and training in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Education Pilot Program Act.

2.

Findings

Congress finds that—

(1)

increasing public environmental awareness and understanding through formal environmental education and meaningful bay or stream field experiences are vital parts of the effort to protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem;

(2)

using the Chesapeake Bay watershed as an integrating context for learning can help—

(A)

advance student learning skills;

(B)

improve academic achievement in core academic subjects; and

(C)
(i)

encourage positive behavior of students in school; and

(ii)

encourage environmental stewardship in school and in the community; and

(3)

the Federal Government, acting through the Secretary of Education, should work with the Under Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere, the Chesapeake Executive Council, State educational agencies, elementary schools and secondary schools, and nonprofit educational and environmental organizations to support development of curricula, teacher training, special projects, and other activities, to increase understanding of the Chesapeake Bay watershed and to improve awareness of environmental problems.

3.

Chesapeake Bay Environmental Education and Training Grant Pilot Program

Title IV of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7101 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:

D

Chesapeake Bay Environmental Education and Training Grant Pilot Program

4401.

Definitions

In this part:

(1)

Bay Watershed State

The term Bay Watershed State means each of the States of Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia, and the District of Columbia.

(2)

Chesapeake Executive Council

The term Chesapeake Executive Council has the meaning given the term in section 307(d) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Authorization Act of 1992 (15 U.S.C. 1511d(d)).

(3)

Eligible institution

The term eligible institution means—

(A)

a public elementary school or secondary school located in a Bay Watershed State; and

(B)

a nonprofit environmental or educational organization located in a Bay Watershed State.

(4)

Program

The term Program means the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Education and Training Grant Pilot Program established under section 4402.

4402.

Chesapeake Bay Environmental Education and Training Grant Pilot Program

(a)

In general

The Secretary shall establish a grant program, to be known as the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Education and Training Grant Pilot Program, to make grants to eligible institutions to pay the Federal share of the cost of developing, demonstrating, or disseminating information on practices, methods, or techniques relating to environmental education and training in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

(b)

Federal share

The Federal share referred to in subsection (a) shall be 50 percent.

(c)

Administration

The Secretary may offer to enter into a cooperative agreement or contract with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation established by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Establishment Act (16 U.S.C. 3701 et seq.), the Under Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere, a State educational agency, or a nonprofit organization that carries out environmental education and training programs, for administration of the Program.

(d)

Use of funds

An eligible institution that receives a grant under the Program shall use the funds made available through the grant to carry out a project consisting of—

(1)

design, demonstration, or dissemination of environmental curricula, including development of educational tools or materials;

(2)

design or demonstration of field practices, methods, or techniques, including—

(A)

assessments of environmental or ecological conditions; and

(B)

analyses of environmental pollution or other natural resource problems;

(3)

understanding and assessment of a specific environmental issue or a specific environmental problem;

(4)

provision of training or related education for teachers or other educational personnel, including provision of programs or curricula to meet the needs of students in various age groups or at various grade levels;

(5)

provision of an environmental education seminar, teleconference, or workshop for environmental education professionals or environmental education students, or provision of a computer network for such professionals and students;

(6)

provision of on-the-ground activities involving students and teachers, such as—

(A)

riparian forest buffer restoration; and

(B)

volunteer water quality monitoring at schools;

(7)

provision of a Chesapeake Bay or stream outdoor educational experience; or

(8)

development of distance learning or other courses or workshops that are acceptable in all Bay Watershed States and apply throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

(e)

Required elements of Program

In carrying out the Program, the Secretary shall—

(1)

solicit applications for projects;

(2)

select suitable projects from among the projects proposed;

(3)

supervise projects;

(4)

evaluate the results of projects; and

(5)

disseminate information on the effectiveness and feasibility of the practices, methods, and techniques addressed by the projects.

(f)

Solicitation of applications

Not later than 90 days after the date on which amounts are first made available to carry out this part, and each year thereafter, the Secretary shall publish a notice of solicitation for applications for grants under the Program that specifies the information to be included in each application.

(g)

Applications

To be eligible to receive a grant under the Program, an eligible institution shall submit an application to the Secretary at such time, in such form, and containing such information as the Secretary may require.

(h)

Priority in selection of projects

In making grants under the Program, the Secretary shall give priority to an applicant that proposes a project that will develop—

(1)

a new or significantly improved environmental education practice, method, or technique, in multiple disciplines, or a program that assists appropriate entities and individuals in meeting Federal or State academic standards relating to environmental education;

(2)

an environmental education practice, method, or technique that may have wide application; and

(3)

an environmental education practice, method, or technique that addresses a skill or scientific field identified as a priority by the Chesapeake Executive Council.

(i)

Maximum amount of grants

Under the Program, the maximum amount of a grant shall be $50,000.

(j)

Notification

Not later than 3 days before making a grant under this part, the Secretary shall provide notification of the grant to the appropriate committees of Congress.

(k)

Regulations

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Education Pilot Program Act, the Secretary shall promulgate regulations concerning implementation of the Program.

4403.

Evaluation and report

(a)

Evaluation

Not later than December 31, 2009, the Secretary shall enter into a contract with an entity that is not the recipient of a grant under this part to conduct a detailed evaluation of the Program. In conducting the evaluation, the Secretary shall determine whether the quality of content, delivery, and outcome of the Program warrant continued support of the Program.

(b)

Report

Not later than December 31, 2010, the Secretary shall submit a report to the appropriate committees of Congress containing the results of the evaluation.

4404.

Authorization of appropriations

(a)

In general

There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this part $6,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2006 through 2009.

(b)

Administrative expenses

Of the amounts made available under subsection (a) for each fiscal year, not more than 10 percent may be used for administrative expenses.

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