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Pringle to Congressional Black Caucus: Green Schools Are Our Future

NEA Secretary-Treasurer says green schools save money, improve health and boost student achievement

 By Kevin Hart

National Education Association Secretary-Treasurer Rebecca “Becky” Pringle told a gathering of the Congressional Black Caucus this week that green schools are a wise investment for America’s public education system and can facilitate student learning.

Pringle delivered her presentation, “The Green Economy: Cutting Edge Opportunities for Public Schools and Minority Communities,” as part of a panel during the CBC’s 39th Annual Legislative Conference, which runs from Sept. 23-Sept. 26.

One of the roles that educators and legislators now share, Pringle said, is “preparing students for green jobs,” and one of the best ways to get students focused on environmental sustainability is by teaching them in green learning environments.

Pringle pointed out that studies have shown that green schools result in a 3 percent increase in productivity, learning and performance, and a 3 percent decrease in teacher turnover. They save taxpayers money by reducing water and energy costs, and improve student and staff health.

Familiarizing students with green technologies and processes is critical to helping students compete in the global economy. 

“We’re working to build an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty,” Pringle told attendees. To that end, she said, NEA has partnered with the U.S. Green Building Council, the U.S. Department of Energy, and private corporations to advance green initiatives.

NEA also has pushed schools to implement fun and engaging curricula designed to give students a strong background on environmental science. The opportunities created by the green economy may revolutionize how math and science are taught in schools, and could make them more “cool” and popular than ever before, Pringle said.

To learn more about NEA’s commitment to green schools, click here.

Pringle was joined by other NEA colleagues who presented throughout the course of the CBC event. Shelia Simmons, Director of NEA Human and Civil Rights, spoke about preventing high school drop-outs, and Ron Henderson, Director of NEA Research, was a panelist for a discussion on using extra and co-curricular activities to improve academic achievement.

“The Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference is a vitally important meeting of African American leaders and the NEA is honored to participate in these important conversations and work with CBC members to implement the policies and legislation that result from the thinking that takes place during the annual conference,” NEA President Dennis Van Roekel said in a statement.  


NEA Press Release on the Congressional Black Caucus 39th Annual Legislative Conference