Advocacy

WAEE and its members work to advocate for EE in Wisconsin in various ways. As timely and important issues arise, we invite members to engage in civic action in order to affect change in the political realm. We believe we can expand our impact in the EE field by advocating for policies, legislation and government resources that affect our members and the greater EE community.

Our advocacy actions support Goal 3 in Wisconsin’s Plan for Environmentally Literate and Sustainable Communities. (Goal 3: Build the capacity of individuals, organizations, businesses, and governments to advance environmental literacy and sustainable communities.)


Current Initiatives

Initiatives are determined by the Advocacy Committee and approved by the Board of Directors.

2017-19 Biennium Budget

Issues:

* Forestry Mill Tax – Copy & Paste This Letter to Legislators

        See also WAEE’s Mill Tax Statement 2017 to the Joint Finance Committee.

* Wisconsin Environmental Education Board (WEEB) reinstatement – Copy & Paste This Letter to Legislators

WAEE is encouraging members and stakeholders to reach out to legislators while the state budget is being reviewed. There are several ways constituents can influence this part of the budgetary process. 1) write or call your legislators 2) speak at a budget listening session. Find full details, instructions, and specific asks here.


Past Initiatives

2017 State Superintendent Election

WAEE posed four questions to both State Superintendent candidates regarding their views on Environmental Education. The Election will be held on April 4th, 2017. Full responses can be read here.

2015-17 Biennial Budget

Governor Walker’s proposed 2105-17 Budget took many swipes at eliminating state support for environmental education. Thanks to a coalition of strategists from WAEE, the Wisconsin Environmental Education Board (WEEB), the Wisconsin Environmental Education Foundation (WEEF) and the Wisconsin Center for Environmental Education (WCEE), the WAEE membership was able to mobilize, reach out to legislators, and win back many budgetary cuts, including the DPI EE Consultant position, the Wisconsin Center for Environmental Education (WCEE) mandate, and the one-year extension of the WEEB’s existence to June 2017.  Find the full Summary of State Budget Results for EE here.

Children’s Outdoor Heritage Resolution

As best told in this video by these Wisconsin 5th graders, every child has the inalienable right to hike a trail, sleep under the stars, hunt and fish with a mentor…

For years WAEE, in partnership with the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters, worked to pass the Wisconsin Outdoor Heritage Resolution (formerly known as the Wisconsin Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights). Joint Assembly Resolution 27, with the help of Assemblywoman Chris Taylor and 31 other supporters in the House and Senate, was passed in February 2016.

More info at: WiscoKidsOudoors.org

Leave No Child Inside

In 2009 a Federal bill, The Leave No Child Inside Act, was introduced in the House of Representatives. The main goal of the proposed legislation was to amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (No Child Left Behind Act) of 2001 under the Bush Administration to include funding and support for EE. Wisconsin was an early endorser of the legislation and WAEE joined the No Child Left Inside Coalition. The Wisconsin Coalition’s major work was creating the PK-12 State plan which provides a road map to statewide collaborations and strategies for successful education for environmental literacy.

newnclilogoMore information:

Wisconsin Leave No Child Inside movement

National movement

EE Consultant at DPI

For many years the EE Consultant position at the Department of Public Instruction was cut from the State budget. Thanks to the letter writing and other advocacy work of WAEE members, the position was reinstated in June 2010. This position is designed to increase the capacity for effective environmental education in PK-12 schools in the state by working directly with teachers and school districts as well as state agencies and non-governmental organizations who are also interested using the environment as a context for learning.

dpilogo_webMore information:

Department of Public Instruction

EEinWisconsin.org

2009 State School Superintendent Election

During the 2009 election period, WAEE interviewed both State Superintendent candidates on their stance on EE and shared their responses with the WAEE membership and other EE constituents. Full responses can be found here. Tony Evers was elected into office in 2009 and was re-elected in 2013. The next State Superintendent election will be in 2017.


Communicating with Elected State Officials

WAEE works to advocate for specific and timely EE issues on behalf of its membership and the greater EE community in Wisconsin. We invite you to contact your legislators at any time to speak with them about issues that are important to you. Here is some useful information on making your EE voice heard in Wisconsin:

Find Your Legislators

Tips on writing to your Legislator from National Education Association

EE Advocacy at the National Level

WAEE supports and is an active member in the North American Association for Environmental Education’s (NAAEE) Advocacy Action Network. This group works to affect National legislation regarding EE. More information on their work can be found on the NAAEE website.