State legislators and green schools

Published on: 
20 Oct 2017
Author: 
Anisa Heming

One of the most important roles of the Center for Green Schools at USGBC is advocating for policies at the federal, state and school board levels that enable schools to progress in the "three pillars" of a green school: reducing environmental impact of the school environment, improving student and teacher health and performance and increasing sustainability literacy.

From the meetings of the founding fathers to today’s biggest policy battles, state governments have always been the most central jurisdiction in the United States. They are the entities that grant power to the federal government, and this unique aspect of the American experiment means that states are often the most effective vehicle for enabling social and political change. Though their direct control over schools is limited, state governments can be crucial catalysts that set high expectations, encourage action and facilitate access to the support that schools need.

The Center for Green Schools provides expertise and information to a large network of state legislators interested in policies and action to support green schools. Each year, we host an in-person workshop at the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators to help these legislators strategize the coming year.

The list below provides an overview of the types of resources available to this network from USGBC’s Center for Green Schools and Advocacy teams; these are updated regularly and form the backbone of our work with lawmakers. Core resources about green buildings and infrastructure, more generally, are available from USGBC’s Advocacy team. USGBC also has local staff and volunteers around the country who work toward improving buildings and community infrastructure in their own backyards. To discover what communities are near you, visit the USGBC directory of regions.

Example policies and practices

School facilities information

Policy summaries and analysis

For more information, or to be added to the network of state legislators interested in green schools, please contact us.