34 states have announced that they are supporting the fast-growing green school movement by participating in the pilot year of the U.S. Department of Education's Green Ribbon School award program. These states represent 2/3rds of the nation, and are divided almost evenly between states with Republican Governors and those with Democratic Governors. Green schools are clearly a bipartisan issue: saving operating costs, improving the health of students, reducing negative environmental impact and improving student performance are issues which concern us all.
The Green Ribbon program is the first comprehensive green school initiative to come from the federal government. More than just an award, Green Ribbon lays out a thoughtful vision for what being a green school means. Its comprehensive approach is fostering unprecedented collaboration among those involved with green school buildings and operations, healthy school environments, and environmental and sustainability education within federal agencies, state agencies, and individual schools. It has set a high standard for what it means to be a green school. Finally, it is already significantly raising the profile of individual green schools and the green school movement, and is being hailed by leaders of the movement as the most significant milestone in the movement's recent history.
A tremendous thanks to all of you who helped enlist this terrific cohort of states for the first year! Many Chief State School Officers were swayed by your letters, emails and calls, and I have no doubt that the participation rate would have been much lower without your actions.
34 Green Ribbon states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin