Monday, December 31, 2007

H.R.3036 - No Child Left Inside Act of 2007

A great letter in support of the FMNP and the No Child Left Inside Act of 2007 from Florida Master Naturalist Fred Jacobsen...

Office of Governor Charlie Crist
State of Florida
The Capitol
400 S. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001

Dear Governor Christ;
In my opinion, the Florida Master Naturalist Program is well suited to quickly develop K-12 environmental education programs to address the funding opportunity offered by H.R. 3036 – No Child Left Inside Act of 2007 and to provide trained graduates for classroom instruction and local field trips throughout the state.
The Florida Master Naturalist Program (FMNP) is an adult environmental education program developed by the University of Florida IFAS. FMNP training benefits persons interested in learning more about Florida's environment, seeking educational contact hours, or wishing to increase their knowledge for use in education programs as volunteers, employees, and ecotourism guides. The FMNP includes modules in 3 subject areas – Freshwater Wetlands, Coastal Systems, and Upland Habitats. Students receive 40 educational contact hours in each module; including classroom learning, field trips, and practical experience in interpretation. Since September 2001, the FMNP has grown to more than 150 certified instructors, representing 80 organizations in 43 counties throughout Florida. The FMNP has trained more than 1,200 FMNP graduates that have contributed information on Florida's natural world to a multitude of individuals, schools, communities, state agencies, and professional organizations.
No Child Left Inside Act of 2007 - Amends the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to authorize states to use federal funds for the development of kindergarten through grade 12 (K-12) plans for environmental education and teacher training to ensure that high school graduates are environmentally literate.
Authorizes the Secretary to award competitive grants to partnerships that include a local educational agency (LEA), and may include institutions of higher education (IHE) and other educational or business entities, for activities that include the development of teacher training programs and more rigorous environmental education curriculums in environmental education.
Authorizes the Secretary to award competitive matching grants to nonprofit organizations, states, LEAs, or IHEs for activities to improve and support environmental education that include:
(1) advancing content and achievement standards;
(2) developing or disseminating innovations or model programs;
(3) research; and
(4) creating new funding sources.
Requires the Secretary to give priority in providing magnet school assistance to LEAs creating or enhancing environmental magnet school programs. Includes environmental education in the current program providing grants to states and LEAs for teacher training. Amends the Department of Education Organization Act to create an Office of Environmental Literary to advance K-12 environmental education and administer the new grant programs. Amends the National Assessment of Educational Progress Authorization Act to authorize the Commissioner for Education Statistics to include environmental education in any additional national assessment of student achievement.
Fred Jacobsen, FMN
600 Kingston Ct.
Apollo Beach, FL 33572

Ginger Allen,
FMNP Program Coordinator
2686 SR 29 North
Immokalee, FL 34142

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