In its Jan. 27 Our View editorial, the Press Herald editorial board raised a number of questions about L.D. 1902, a bill in the Legislature proposing a climate education grant program in Maine public schools. Each of those questions has answers, many of which were provided by sponsor Rep. Lydia Blume in her thoughtful Jan. 29 op-ed response.

Another point that deserves correction is the editorial’s concern that there aren’t “enough community-based groups to partner with the kinds of rural and tribal school districts that the law would target.” Much of the professional development the bill would provide to educators would be delivered through community partners.

In fact, there is no shortage of organizations ready and waiting to partner with schools on this pilot program, particularly in underresourced districts in rural Maine. The Teach ME Outside directory tells us that there are at least 32 programs focusing on professional development and climate education, and every county in Maine is served by at least 13 of these programs.

As we’ve seen with COVID relief grants, community partnerships are a proven model to enable low-resource districts to tap into competitive funding sources. The Department of Education has heard this feedback from schools, and community partners were added to the bill specifically to address this issue.

Crafting L.D. 1902 was an inclusive and collaborative effort that prioritized equity in how these resources are provided. We are thrilled that so many students, teachers and education leaders are speaking up in support of this bill.


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