Support Environmental Education and call your Represenative to get their support.Posted: March 19, 2015
Congressional FY 2016 Appropriations Support Letters
for Environmental Education
Action Needed Now: First Deadline Thurs., March 18th
As with the excellent ongoing efforts to gather cosponsors for the No Child Left Inside Act (NCLI), outreach to ask our legislators to sign letters of support for environmental education appropriations holds great opportunities this year, and some big challenges, and the deadlines for various funding items are all before the end of March.
Congressional appropriations committees and subcommittees will be considering the FY 2016 budget shortly, so now is the time for all of us to advocate for the environmental education programs we know are critical to our communities and the country. The primary way our voices are heard by decision-makers in Congress is via a set of letters we ask our legislators to endorse that are addressed to the appropriations committees. We all need to ask our Senators and House members to sign these letter by the mid- to late-March deadlines.
The materials you will need – detailed instructions for you, the appropriations letters for the legislators’ endorsement, background briefings and instructions for them, and an update on NCLI – can be downloaded from www.naaee.net/advocacy. We have not gotten all of the materials from the Legislature yet, so do check back on Monday and Tuesday, and we’ll email you when we post more… but don’t wait to get started!
And it’s very important that we advocate for our cause with all legislators, even those who we know will not sign these letters. Reasons include: they are in the appropriations leadership and have policies not to sign any of these letters; they don’t want to go on record supporting these items; or they have a less than positive view of environmental education… but they none-the-less really value the good work your local EE institutions and schools do. Engaging these non-signing lawmakers, to make sure that they at least understand what environmental education looks like in their community is as important as getting the needed signatures.
This is also a great time to ask for No Child Left Inside legislation cosponsorship. NCLI and the environmental education appropriations complement each other with the range of programs and audiences.
Thank you in advance for helping to secure the future of environmental education and please pass this on to your colleagues today!