Senators propose new federal grants to improve environmental education

Under the bill, federal grants would be set up for states with qualifying plans to ensure improved teacher training on environmental issues. Reed said the aim is to ensure teachers "possess the content knowledge and pedagogical skills to effectively teach environmental education in the classroom, including the use of innovative interdisciplinary and field-based learning strategies."

Reed added that federal incentives would be created for states to develop an "environmental literacy plan" for pre-kindergarten, elementary and secondary school students. He said the goal is to ensure these students have a "solid understanding of our planet and its natural resources."

The other lead sponsor of the bill is Sen. Mark Kirk (Ill.), the only Republican on it. The bill is co-sponsored by Sens. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), John Kerry (D-Mass.), Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.).