New Jersey Becomes First State To Add Climate Change Education to K–12 State Standards

Climate change education will be part of the K–12 learning standards for all subjects.

New Jersey is the first state to incorporate climate change education across its K–12 learning standards.

With adoption of the revised state standards by the NJ Board of Education, climate change education will be included not only in science but also in health and physical education, social studies, technology, visual and performing arts, 21st-century life and careers, and world languages. The math and English language arts standards aren’t due for review until 2022, but climate change standards were added to the appendices for both.

Read: Climate of Uncertainty: When Teachers Grapple with Climate Science

“This initiative is vitally important to our students as they are the leaders of tomorrow, and we will depend on their leadership and knowledge to combat this crisis,” former vice president Al Gore said in a statement. “We will need leaders who are not only well educated about the effects of climate change, but leaders who can craft the solutions for climate change and implement those solutions.”

A standards review team—which included 130 educators from public and private elementary, middle, and high schools; parents; and representatives from business, military, health, and nonprofit organizations across the state—offered input for each of the subjects, and there was a public review period that allowed for feedback.


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Kara Yorio

Kara Yorio (, @karayorio) is news editor at School Library Journal.

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