Schools of the Future Report Promotes Sustainable CA Schools
Debates about education are raging throughout the country. Budget cuts, test scores, teacher evaluations, the achievement gap and myriad other issues contribute to a jumble of concerns that lead to a larger question: How can we improve schools and education for our nation's children?
On September 26th, California State Schools Superintendent Tom Torlakson announced the release of the Schools of the Future Report that provides exciting answers to that question. According to the San Jose Mercury, the report "recommends that California streamline its school-building regulations and change state law to encourage campuses to install renewable-energy systems, among other measures. Torlakson is also urging legislators to put a statewide school-bond measure of $3 billion to $5 billion on the November 2012 ballot to help fund campus energy-efficiency projects.”
Green Schools Initiative's Deborah Moore served on the Superintendent's Schools of the Future Task Force this past spring, and applauds the report's emphasis on environmental sustainability: "Schools are the ideal place for these types of sustainability measures. The recommendation that California schools pursue clean, renewable energy through solar power could lead to billions in savings, significant reductions in greenhouse gases, and also to fantastic learning opportunities for students throughout the state."
The report's other key recommendations include:
Establishing a Green Schools Award. Torlakson said the California Department of Education (CDE) would partner with the U.S. Department of Education in the pilot year of their Green Ribbon Schools award, which was announced earlier this month. Such a recognition program will inspire California schools to implement environmentally sustainable best practices in facilities, operations and curriculum, and will award schools that are leading the way in school greening.
Moore commented, "We are also really excited about the prospect of California establishing its own statewide green schools award program that will help provide greater clarity, guidelines, and best practices for what schools need to do in facilities, operations, and curricula to be recognized as truly 'green'."
The CDE press release and the full Schools of the Future Report are at http://www.cde.ca.gov/nr/ne/yr11/yr11rel72.asp.