Photo: Flickr/calmenda
Photo: Flickr/calmenda

A proposed Senate bill seeks to expand “green” energy curriculum to public middle and high schools across the country.

Proposed by Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), the bill would provide grant funding to colleges with green energy curriculum to expand their programs to middle and high schools, reports local Wisconsin paper Manitowoc Herald Times. The goal, the paper reported, is to get students interested in green jobs earlier in their educational careers.

Speaking in favor of the legislation, the paper asserted: “That is a good idea, regardless of where one stands on the controversial issue of expanding green energy in the future. It is not a given that wind, solar and other forms of alternative energy are the panacea advocates claim.

“Baldwin’s legislation, however,” the reporter goes on, “will help broaden educational opportunities for middle school and high school students, which is what those schools are supposed to do.”

Dubbed the Grants for Renewable Energy Education for the Nation (GREEN) Act, the bill asks for $100 million in federal funding for grants, which would be administered by the U.S. Department of Education. The bill is a companion to the House GREEN Act, sponsored by Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.).

Introduced to the Senate floor in late January, the bill has already been endorsed by the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE).

ACTE Deputy Executive Director Steve DeWitt said the bill, “offers students exposure to the range of sustainable energy career options available today, while providing the education and training necessary to ensure that our nation’s workforce is prepared for the green jobs of the future.”

The fate of the bill is still to be decided, but Baldwin rightfully notes that jobs created in the clean energy field pay better than the average American job, with compensation rates 13 percent higher than the national average, meaning its passage may mean good things for the next generation.

By Mary Mazzoni

Mary is a lifelong vegetarian and enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, biking and relaxing in the park. When she’s not outside, she’s probably watching baseball. She is a former assistant editor for Earth911.