Celebrating The US Department Of Education Green Ribbon Sc

By: Andrea Suarez Falken, Particular Advisor for Infrastructure and Sustainability, US Division of Training.

On July 26, the US Division of Training (ED) acknowledged 27 faculties, 5 college districts, and 4 postsecondary establishments, in addition to one state training company official, at a Washington, DC ceremony for his or her efforts to domesticate sustainable, wholesome amenities, wellness practices, and hands-on, outside, environmental studying.

By highlighting faculties’, districts’, and postsecondary establishments’ cost-saving, selling well being, and performance-enhancing sustainability and environmental training practices, ED-GRS celebrates these faculties and brings extra consideration to their work. The ceremony was a reminder of the numerous new initiatives afoot at ED, on account of a long time of nationwide advocacy and rising consciousness surrounding the inexperienced faculties motion.

Deputy Secretary Cindy Marten speaking at podium smiling
Deputy Secretary of Training Cindy Marten addresses the 2022 US Division of Training Inexperienced Ribbon Colleges (ED-GRS) at a ceremony on July twenty sixth in Washington, DC

The Biden Administration has taken important steps on environmental sustainability, local weather, environmental well being, and infrastructure, and new applications have been carried out associated to sustainable faculties at different federal companies. Whereas ED is just not licensed devoted environmental training or college infrastructure applications, we’ve got labored to suppose creatively about college sustainability, infrastructure, well being, and environmental training. Previously 12 months ED has:

  • Strengthened its participation in a number of interagency efforts associated to sustainability, together with collaborating on the discharge of a White Home toolkit to assist faculties and districts entry out there funding, in addition to technical help alternatives and planning instruments to enhance college sustainability and environmental well being, as a part of a broader plan for Constructing Higher Infrastructure.
  • Administered the American Rescue Plan’s Elementary and Secondary College Emergency Reduction program, which incorporates $122 billion to help a variety of pandemic response and restoration efforts, resembling college enhancements to air flow and constructing vitality techniques that help wholesome environments and scale back vitality prices.
  • Provided steering on the late liquidation of reduction funds for development functions.
  • Developed company buildings to steer and coordinate on issues associated to highschool sustainability and infrastructure.
  • Designated an ED worker as Particular Advisor for Infrastructure and Sustainability to assist drive public engagement, applications, coordination, and steering with consideration to those issues.
  • Carried out public engagement via webinars, calls, and public listening classes concerning 1) environmental affect, infrastructure, and operations; 2) entire youngster well being and wellness, together with environmental well being; and three) environmental, outside, local weather, and sustainability training.
  • ED’s most fun efforts to advance college sustainability for all faculties — not simply the ED-GRS honorees — stem from its fiscal 12 months 2023 proposal for the creation of a brand new workplace and clearinghouse.
Speaker on video on projection screen behind two seated panelists and woman at podium in auditorium full of seated people

This new Workplace of Infrastructure and Sustainability would oversee a proposed Nationwide Clearinghouse on College Infrastructure and Sustainability and administer the continued ED-GRS recognition award. The workplace would supply capability to interact with multi-agency efforts, training stakeholders, states, and districts. Whereas, prior to now, this work was undertaken in a casual and voluntary method, the workplace would institutionalize an ED construction to advise on issues associated to local weather, sustainability, setting, and infrastructure and lead coordination, outreach, and interagency collaboration. The clearinghouse would supply technical help and coaching to state and native training companies on points associated to instructional facility planning, design, financing, development, enchancment, operation, and upkeep, together with inexperienced constructing design and operation practices per the administration’s dedication to deal with local weather change.

All of this, in fact, is along with the implementation of our ED-GRS award for college sustainability designed to highlight helpful and revolutionary practices. To be taught extra about this 12 months’s US Division of Training Inexperienced Ribbon Colleges, District Sustainability Awardees, and Postsecondary Sustainability Awardees, go to the web site and annual Highlights Report. You might also subscribe to the ED-GRS publication and observe these efforts on Fb and Twitter,

Andrea Falkan on stage at podium with Green Ribbon Schools backdrop in auditorium full of seated people

Know that, below the steering of the Biden Administration, ED is reviewing each out there software to prioritize equitable entry to wholesome, protected, sustainable, resilient, 21st century studying environments and sustainability studying that equips college students to face the challenges of the longer term. We stay up for extra faculties and districts for his or her efforts within the years to come back. Bear in mind: Colleges should be nominated to obtain the ED-GRS award. Remember to attain out to your state training authorities in case you are doing work in all three award Pillars!

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