Code of the District of Columbia

§ 38–825.02. Environmental Literacy Program.

(a) An Environmental Literacy Program is established within the Office of the State Superintendent of Education. The Environmental Literacy Program shall:

(1) Coordinate the efforts of the District Department of the Environment, the District of Columbia Public Schools, the Public Charter School Board, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education, the State Board of Education, the University of the District of Columbia, the Department of Parks and Recreation, the Department of General Services, and the Department of Employment Services to triennially develop an environmental literacy plan for public schools, public charter schools, and participating private schools;

(2) Establish and convene an Environmental Literacy Advisory Committee, composed of community organizations, District government agencies, and other interested persons;

(3) Collect data on the location and types of environmental education programs in public schools, public charter schools, and participating private schools;

(4) Provide environmental education guidance and technical assistance to public schools, public charter schools, and participating private schools;

(5) Provide training, support, and assistance for environmental literacy programs in public schools, public charter schools, and participating private schools; and

(6) Assist public schools and public charter schools in receiving certification as U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools.

(b) The environmental literacy plan shall, at minimum, include the following:

(1) Relevant teaching and learning standards adopted by the State Board of Education;

(2) Professional development opportunities for teachers;

(3) Suitable metrics to measure environmental literacy;

(4) Suitable methods to increase environmental literacy;

(5) Governmental and nongovernmental entities that can assist schools in the achievement of those goals; and

(6) A proposed implementation method for the plan.

(c) Beginning in 2020, and triennially thereafter, the Environmental Literacy Program shall include in the comprehensive report required by § 38-823.03, an update about the state of environmental education in the District, plans for expansion, and recommendations for improving the program.

(d)(1) The Office of the State Superintendent of Education ("OSSE") shall establish an Environmental Literacy Leadership Cadre ("Cadre"), which shall be comprised of teachers, selected by OSSE, at public schools and public charter schools. Each teacher in the Cadre shall:

(A) Create, if applicable, and help maintain a garden at the teacher's school;

(B) Implement composting and recycling programs at the teacher's school;

(C) Implement the June 2012 environmental literacy plan, or a subsequent environmental literacy plan developed pursuant to this section, and other OSSE-approved guidance, at the teacher's school; and

(D) Assist other teachers at the teacher's school with incorporating science standards.

(2) OSSE shall provide each teacher selected to participate in the Cadre with an appropriate and fair stipend, in addition to the teacher's salary.

(3) OSSE shall provide grants to nonprofit and community-based organizations to support the schools represented in the Cadre by providing or coordinating programs and activities related to school-based environmental literacy programs.

(4) OSSE may create or implement other initiatives or projects that support the Cadre.

(July 27, 2010, D.C. Law 18-209, § 502, 57 DCR 4779; Oct. 20, 2011, D.C. Law 19-37, § 2(j), 58 DCR 6841; Dec. 17, 2014, D.C. Law 20-142, § 311(b), 61 DCR 8045; Oct. 22, 2015, D.C. Law 21-36, § 4102, 62 DCR 10905; Oct. 8, 2016, D.C. Law 21-160, § 6112, 63 DCR 10775; Mar. 13, 2019, D.C. Law 22-240, § 2(u), 66 DCR 912.)

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 19-37 designated the existing text as subsec. (a); and added subsecs. (b) and (c).

The 2014 amendment by D.C. Law 20-142 rewrote this section.

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 21-36 added (d).


Applicability of D.C. Law 22-240: § 7160 of D.C. Law 23-16 repealed § 3 of D.C. Law 22-240. Therefore the amendment of this section by D.C. Law 22-240 has been implemented.

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-240: § 3 of D.C. Law 22-240 provided that the change made to this section by § 2(u) of D.C. Law 22-240 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(j) of Healthy Schools Emergency Amendment Act of 2011 (D.C. Act 19-143, August 9, 2011, 58 DCR 6814).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 4102 of the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-127, July 27, 2015, 62 DCR 10201).

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-142: Section 502(e) of D.C. Law 20-142 provided that § 311 of the act shall apply as of December 17, 2014.