by Alex Schaible, Writer & Policy Analyst
The Senate Subcommittee on the Environment, Interior and Related Agencies is preparing to meet soon to discuss the EPA budget for fiscal year 2011. We at HSC are particularly excited about the proposed EPA budget because it includes a substantial increase in funding for the Clean, Green, and Healthy Schools Initiative. The inclusion of $6.3 million for this initiative represents a $6.2 million increase from last year’s funding.
While $6.3 million may seem like a negligible amount in comparison to the overall proposed EPA budget (pdf - see page 10 for the Clean Green and Healthy Schools Initiative) of $10 billion, this dramatic increase in funding represents an important step toward acknowledging the importance of providing children with healthy school environments.
We are excited to see federal recognition of the important role schools play in supporting the environmental health of children. With concerns increasing about children’s to chemicals, toxic building materials and mold, this initiative offers a great opportunity to create and support healthier school environments for children.
The proposed funding for this initiative will support efforts to develop existing school environmental health programs that focus on asthma, indoor air quality, chemical cleanout, green practices and integrated pest management. If the full funding is approved, EPA will lead efforts to create healthier school environments for all students.
As Congress continues to review the EPA budget for fiscal year 2011, please contact your Congress members and urge them to support the Clean, Green, and Healthy Schools Initiative. We can help establish a national precedent of supporting the healthy development of our nation’s children by providing them with healthier school environments they deserve.