Senator Jack Reed speaks at the Zoo about the No Child Left Inside Act.

At Roger Williams Park Zoo we don’t just offer environmental education – we advocate for it by working with community partners and supporting legislative action, on both a local and national level.

Every Student Succeeds Act & No Child Left Inside

On December 9, 2015, Congress passed a new K-12 education law that empowers schools, promises more flexibility for states, and reduces the reliance on high-stakes testing in public schools while maintaining strong oversight of student achievement. 

Included in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is a key provision co-authored by Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed and Congressman John Sarbanes (D-MD) that will strengthen environmental education programs in schools across the country.

Next Steps

While we are celebrating this advance for environmental education after many years of hard work, there is a great deal that will need to happen after the legislation is signed into law. Along with our environmental education partners across the country, we will work to:

• Make recommendations to the U.S. Department of Education regarding the design of the grant programs described in Title IV of the bill

• Develop fact sheets and messages that provide state and local education agencies and their partners important information about how ESSA funds can be used to support essential environmental education programs and implementation of environmental literacy plans

• Identify and disseminate models for the use of U.S. Education grant funds to support effective environmental education in K-12 schools.