New Jersey Students Enter First School Year With K-12 Climate Change Education


In June of 2020, the New Jersey State Board of Education adopted First Lady Tammy Murphy’s initiative making New Jersey the first state in the nation to incorporate required climate change education across K-12 public schools.

This week, as thousands of New Jersey Students begin a new school year, this new climate change education begins.

The first-of-its-kind curriculum, according to the Office of the Governor of NJ, “will prepare and propel New Jersey students to the top of the ranks for the thousands of green economy jobs that will be made available in the future.”

Once again, New Jersey is setting an example for the nation when it comes to preparing students to be informed, engaged citizens because of our diverse and inclusive standards and curriculum,” said NJ Education Association president Sean M. Spiller.Few issues will have more impact on this generation of students throughout their lives than climate change. What they learn in school starting this year will help prepare them to address this challenging issue now and in the future.”

The New Jersey Student Learning Standards (NJ SLS), which outline what is taught in New Jersey public schools, adopted climate change education standards in 2020 to “prepare students to understand how and why climate change happens and the impact it has on our local and global communities” and teach NJ students how to act in informed, sustainable ways.

These new standards, beginning this school year, will be incorporated across seven content areas taught to NJ students:

  • 21st Century Life and Careers
  • Comprehensive Health and Physical Education
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Technology
  • Visual and Performing Arts
  • World Language

Climate change standards have also been added to the State's Mathematics and English Language Arts guidelines.

It is incredibly important that the next generation has a solid understanding of climate change from a young age,” said Senator Gopal, Chair of the Senate Education Committee.Through this curriculum, we can give meaning to the rise of severe weather and extreme temperatures, while offering explanations on how we can address it and what they can do to help.”

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