Unfortunately, discussions about the future of K-12 public education in California typically focus on the state’s massive budget problems. Talks of educational reform seem to exclusively revolve around teacher accountability and charter schools. Very little of the dialogue centers on how we can educate students more effectively and with new, engaging curriculum.
California’s budget crisis has been so severe that students have not received new textbooks in the last three years, and they may not receive new ones until 2015. That means that a student that was a fifth grader in 2008 will never use a state textbook to learn about the United States’ first African American President, the loss of Pluto as a planet, or the global economic recession.
However, an interim solution for environmental education is moving forward: the Education and the Environment Initiative (EEI). It’s progress, but the curriculum program to develop environmental literacy in California’s 6 million public school students and their 150,000 teachers won't reach classrooms in the next few years.