Ten Strands Urges Governor Gavin Newsom to Continue Investing in K–12 Climate and Environmental Literacy

By Ten Strands|May 12, 2023

May 12, 2023

Media Contact:
Marwa Abdelghani
Communications Manager

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (May 12, 2023)—Today, Governor Gavin Newsom released the May Revision to his proposed California State Budget for FY 2023-24. We recognize and appreciate the complexity of this year’s budget and our budget leaders’ efforts to address the state’s most pressing issues that impact the health and well-being of all Californians. However, we urge the Governor and the legislature to ensure the budget includes the educational needs of students and equips them with the resources necessary to become climate and environmentally literate. In the aftermath of the pandemic and with the continued devastating impacts of climate change disproportionately impacting our communities, educating our youth can and must be part of the solution. 

Although we are disappointed that Senator Ben Allen’s $10 million budget request to invest in curriculum-embedded professional learning to support California’s K–12 Climate Change and Environmental Justice Program (currently under development) is not in the May Revise, we remain hopeful that our broad coalition of endorsers will persuade the Governor to include this request in the final budget. This crucial investment would:

  • Build an online platform and a network of teacher ambassadors to field-test and promote the curricular resources;
  • Initiate a community-based engagement strategy for groups focused on environmental justice, climate change, and education to work in lock-step with teachers and professional learning providers; and
  • Maintain an iterative research, evaluation, and communication process to ensure the curricular resources are enhancing each student’s environmental understanding and knowledge.

“Educating children about climate change and environmental justice is vital for equipping them with the knowledge, skills, and values needed to navigate the environmental challenges of the future and contribute to a more sustainable and just world,” said Karen Cowe, Ten Strands CEO. “Countries around the world and other states have intensified efforts to support climate change education. California must stand firm in its commitment too.”

In July 2021, Ten Strands and San Mateo County Office of Education worked with Senator Ben Allen to secure $6 million to develop K–12 climate and environmental justice curriculum units, making California the first state to publicly finance the creation of such units. We will continue to work with Senator Ben Allen, San Mateo County Office of Education, and our partners to push for this important provision that will further what our leaders already recognize as crucial to a student’s education—that our students must learn how to become stewards of their environments and communities to protect their future. Doing so will make California a model for the nation.

Ten Strands looks forward to working with the administration, legislature, our partners, and our communities to further advance efforts that give students the knowledge, awareness, and ability to promote health and well-being for themselves, their communities, and the planet. See a complete list of our supporters here.




About Ten Strands
Ten Strands is a California–based nonprofit established in 2012. Their mission is to strengthen the partnerships and strategies that will bring climate and environmental literacy to all of California’s TK–12 students. They operate with a small, diverse, and nimble staff and strategic partners throughout the state. Ten Strands utilizes the largest and most diverse institution in California—the public school system—to impact 58 county offices of education, more than 1,000 school districts, approximately 10,000 individual schools, over 300,000 teachers, and 5.8 million children. For more information, visit http://tenstrands.org.

Ten Strands
This article was written by Ten Strands

Ten Strands' mission is to strengthen the partnerships and strategies that will bring environmental literacy to all of California’s K–12 students. Our vision is a world where everyone understands and experiences the interrelatedness of people and place; where all students have access to high-quality education with an environmental component; and where all people have the knowledge, awareness, and ability to make decisions that promote health and wellbeing for themselves and their communities.