The Berkeley Unified Board of Education unanimously passed Climate Literacy Resolution 22-018, Educational Response to the Climate Emergency at its November 3, 2021 meeting. The Resolution, co-authored by School Board Director Laura Babitt, Berkeley High School junior Ella Suring, and BUSD parent Sarah Ranney, was the result of a community-wide effort that involved students, staff, families and community members. The Resolution is a sweeping directive to graduate students well-versed in climate change science, issues, and solutions.
“I am extremely grateful that the Board of Education voted unanimously to approve the Climate Literacy Resolution, approved the $65,000 needed to fund the first 18 months of curriculum development, and voiced a strong commitment to fund the resolution efforts through implementation,” said School Board Director and resolution co-author Laura Babitt. “I am honored to have been able to serve the community as the Board sponsor for such an important global priority, and I am confident that BUSD will reach its goal of graduating students who are well prepared to be the caretakers of this planet and each other.”
Recognizing it is time to define what it means to educate students for a future with human-induced climate change and integrate educational programs, the Climate Literacy Resolution commits to:
- Graduating students who are well versed in climate change science, issues, and solutions;
- Graduating students who are well versed in environmental and climate justice as a civil rights issue;
- Implementing the vision for Environmental Literacy articulated in the 2018 BUSD Sustainability Plan adopted in 2018;
- Recognizing that climate change disproportionately affects marginalized communities and seek to engage, center and elevate voices and existing work of the most vulnerable communities to climate change – Black, Brown, Indigenous and low income communities;
- Recognizing the district is joining a group of California educators who pledge to share ideas, resources, successes and challenges in order to promote climate change literacy; and
- Assisting to mobilize the education community to address the climate emergency by sending copies of this signed resolution to the following: California State Superintendent of Public Instruction, California School Boards Association, California County Boards of Education, and the National School Boards Association.
“Berkeley Unified continues to be a school district that takes a lead addressing critical issues that will impact our students throughout their lives,” said Superintendent Brent Stephens. “The comprehensive climate change science and social justice instruction detailed in this resolution will empower our students to be climate science leaders and changemakers long after they leave BUSD.”