Congressional Green Schools Caucus

Published on: 
27 Nov 2017
Kristen Keim

With over 30 members, the Congressional Green Schools Caucus is a powerful tool of fostering policy change for making school buildings in the U.S. more green. The caucus works to educate members of Congress about the cost-effectiveness and benefits of green schools and to inform their colleagues about policy solutions that improve school buildings. The Center for Green Schools at USGBC works with the caucus to provide resources, connections and up-to-date research to improve school environmental sustainability, occupant health and sustainability literacy.

The caucus was formed in 2008 by a bipartisan group of representatives, following an increase in interest in sustainable and cost-friendly school building policies. Members introduced several bills prior to the formation of the caucus to upgrade schools with energy-efficient and occupant health goals. However, many of these policies did not come to fruition, due to lack of knowledge and information among members.

Representatives Michael T. McCaul (R-Texas), Jim Matheson (D-Utah) and Darlene Hooley (D-Ore) created the caucus to promote green schools that save money, encourage local job creation and provide healthy learning environments. Since then, many of the caucus members have sponsored bills that call for the rebuilding of America’s schools, most recently the Rebuild America's Schools Act of 2017.

Since its formation, the caucus has met with the Center for Green Schools quarterly to discuss possible policy solutions, connect members with green school leaders and share new research and resources. The Center provides direct support to members to help them connect with their constituents involved in greening schools, such as Green Apple Day of Service participants and winners of the Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools awards. In support of the ED-Green Ribbon Schools awards, many of the caucus members promote the awards in their home districts, speak at celebratory events, support their local education agencies and personally congratulate the award winners.

Members of the Congressional Green Schools Caucus

Caucus Co-Chairs

Ryan Costello, PA-6
Alan Lowenthal, CA-47

Judy Chu, CA-27
Barbara Lee, CA-13
Zoe Lofgren, CA-19
Doris Matsui, CA-6
Jerry McNerney, CA-9

Jared Polis, CO-2

Joe Courtney, CT-2

Hank Johnson, GA-4
John Lewis, GA-5

Dan Lipinski, IL-3
Mike Quigley, IL-5

André Carson, IN-7

David Loebsack, IA-2

John Yarmuth, KY-3

Chellie Pingree, ME-1

Katherine Clark, MA-5
Jim McGovern, MA-2

Dale (Dan) Kildee, MI-5

Betty McCollum, MN-4

Emanuel Cleaver, MO-5

Jeff Fortenberry, NE-1

New Jersey
Frank Pallone, NJ-6
Albio Sires, NJ-8

Northern Mariana Islands
Gregorio (Kilili) Sablan, MP-1

Tim Ryan, OH-13

Earl Blumenauer, OR-3

Robert Brady, PA-1
Mike Doyle, PA-14

Steve Cohen, TN-9
Sheila Jackson-Lee, TX-18
Michael McCaul, TX-10

Peter Welch, VT-1

Gerry Connolly, VA-11

West Virginia
David McKinley, WV-1

The Congressional Green School Caucus is perpetually seeking to grow their impact and outreach, including through working with new members. Do you think your local representative would like to improve schools’ environmental sustainability, occupant health and sustainability literacy? Contact us so that we may reach out to your representative.