Go Back

State Legislators Convene to Advance Green Schools

Attendees at the 2010 Green Schools State Legislative Summit

Last month, 28 leading state legislators from across the country convened at the U.S. Green Building Council’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., for the second annual Green Schools State Legislative Summit.

Sponsored by the Turner Foundation as part of the 50 for 50 Green Schools Caucus Initiative, the Summit brought together lawmakers and critical stakeholders from the education sector for two days of idea generation, best‐practice sharing and communications training to advance effective state policies that promote the benefits of green schools.

In addition to comparing legislative approaches with their colleagues around the country, the lawmakers also discussed how the Center for Green Schools can best support their efforts to drive change in their states. A key part of the conversation focused on engaging the legislators with USGBC’s network of more than 30,000 chapter volunteers in our shared vision of putting every child in a green school within this generation.

Launched by legislators from six states in September 2008, the 50 for 50 Green Schools Caucus Initiative aims to foster a critical dialogue on the importance of green schools in every state legislature across the country. As of October 2010, the initiative had fostered the development of 32 state legislative caucuses or working groups. More about 50 for 50

Rep. Karen May (IL), Chair of the 50 for 50 National Advisory Council, and Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council, greet each other at the beginning of the 2010 Green Schools State Legislative Summit. Rep. Karen May (Illinois - District 58), Chair of the 50 for 50 National Advisory Council, and Rick Fedrizzi, USGBC’s President, CEO & Founding Chair greet each other at the beginning of the 2010 Green Schools State Legislative Summit.
Rep. Jim DeCesare (Kentucky) and Glenn Cummings, Deputy Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Education Rep. Jim DeCesare (Kentucky – District 21) listens as Glenn Cummings, Deputy Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Education (and Former Speaker of the House, Maine House of Representatives) addresses the legislators about their important role promoting green schools.
Explaining how the green building features help to make their new school building a great place for learning, members of the student “Green Team” lead a group of legislators around their recently-renovated school building. Stoddert Elementary School is a LEED-registered public school in Washington, DC.
Rep. Barbara Nix (Arkansas – District 28) Rep. Barbara Nix (Arkansas – District 28) conducts a practice interview in front of a rolling camera about the impact of green schools on teachers and students as part of a communications and messaging training. The training focused on promoting the powerful message of green schools in public settings – including ways to highlight the benefits of green schools during re-election campaigns.
Sen. Ken Haar (Nebraska – District 21) Sen. Ken Haar (Nebraska – District 21) holds a mock town hall meeting in front of his colleagues from other states to introduce the October 2010 Nebraska Green Schools Summit hosted by his office, in conjunction with the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, the Nebraska Center for Energy Sciences Research, the Peter Kiewit Institute and USGBC’s Nebraska Flatwater Chapter.
Jules Bailey (Oregon – District 42) Jules Bailey (Oregon – District 42) facilitates an afternoon session about successes and lessons learned since the 2009 Green Schools State Legislative Summit, as well as priorities for the 50 for 50 Green Schools Caucus Initiative moving forward. The Representative, who also touts extensive experience in energy performance contracting, highlights USGBC’s Paid-from-Savings Guide to Green Existing Buildings as a resource to help outline financing options for comprehensive green retrofits to existing schools.