On Thursday September 9, 2021 the Board of Education held a public hearing on the Draft 2023-2028 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP).  We provided testimony on the need for all buildings, including those that use Alternative Construction Financing (ACF), need to be LEED Gold and use geothermal heating.  A good number of members of the public also stressed the need for efficiency, healthy, green schools.  It was great public testimony and keep telling PGCPS we need 100% Clean Energy Schools.  You can also watch our testimony.

 

Read the Full Testimony

 

At the PGCPS Board of Education Meeting on July 28 we provided the following testimony thanking the Board for their support of the work of the Climate Change Action Plan Focus Workgroup.

Chair Miller, Vice-chair Williams, and members of the Board I would like to thank you for this opportunity to address you this evening as the lead volunteer of Climate Parents of Prince George’s. 

I would like to thank you for extending the time frame for completion of the Climate Change Focus Workgroup and for adding these three students to the Workgroup. 

The Workgroup has been a huge success to date. In our fact finding we have learned of the importance of addressing equity and diversity in a final climate action plan and approaches for doing so. We have learned of how state and county legislation impacts climate planning for our schools and how we can affect it. We learned how to impact education of the climate in our curriculum. We also heard from the students directly, the students that need us to be successful. Next we will learn of how our climate plan will address staff and others in the unions. 

While we had hoped to complete this work in time for FY22 that unfortunately was too quick.  We do need to integrate our understanding of larger issues with the technological solutions available and the data that represents our school systems buildings, buses, grounds, and meals. We also needed the new group of students to participate since Asia and Nanette, whom have given amazing and thoughtful effort, are moving on to the next stage in their lives. We are thankful that you allowed the workgroup the necessary time, added the new student members, and are glad to see this strong leadership from the Board. 

 

 

The Maryland General Assembly is almost done with their 2021 session and many bills have been brought up that will have an impact on the climate future of our children and future generations. So we have been writing testimony on some of the more important ones as part of the Maryland Climate Justice Wing. Here is the final tranche of the testimony that we have submitted so far in the legislative session.

The other two sets of submitted testimony are here and here.

We were thankful to have been invited by Delegate Jared Solomon (HD-18) to testify in favor of HB 487, the School Pedestrian Safety Act. This bill would require Maryland school districts in high density counties to develop pedestrian safety plans for new and renovated schools.  Please call your State Senators to voice support for HB 487: https://msa.maryland.gov/msa/mdmanual/07leg/html/gacopg.html.

You can watch the testimony here: https://mgahouse.maryland.gov/mga/play/25319de3-6bf0-4fd7-84a3-c72432689d73/?catalog/03e481c7-8a42-4438-a7da-93ff74bdaa4c&playFrom=9101009

Here is the text of our testimony:

Thank you Chair Pinsky, Vice Chair Kagan, and the rest of the Education Health and Environmental Affairs Committee

My name is Joseph Jakuta and I man the lead volunteer with the Climate Parents of Prince George Campaign.

In pre-Covid times, one of the highlights of my mornings, as I was getting ready to go to work, was seeing a train of elementary school children walk past my house. They numbered three when they hit my block and by the time the got to the end it was seven, all cared for by a different set of parents each day. I know that by the time they got to our community school there were over a dozen of children walking together. Getting to know each other. Developing a community., It was healthier for children and encouraged the parents to bond, which fostered even more engagement and improvements to our community school.

But we have the benefit of living in a neighborhood built in 1910, when walking was still the norm. Children in many parts of Prince George’s County and elsewhere in Maryland don’t have that luxury. I know full well growing up in Northern Maryland how dangerous it was to walk to and from school along US One when I missed the bus or when I had to stay late for marching band.

But walking/biking to school is not just something nice to be able to do. Studies that we cited in the written testimony have shown that the increase in physical activity that can come with walking and biking leads to better health and learning outcomes for the children. Waking and biking reduce the pollution associated with car based drop off. For older children it increases the freedom to participate in more activities, while easing the burdens from transporting children on working parents. It is especially important to the children of the 10% of Marylanders and 15% of Marylanders of color that don’t even own a car.

Walking and biking to schools is important for the health, education, well being, and personal growth of our students and tHB 487 leads Maryland down the path towards that goal.

We encourage you to vote favorable on HB 487. Thank you for your time.

We are glad to be invited by Delegate Jared Solomon (HD-18) to testify today to the House of Delegates Appropriations Committee in favor of HB 630.  This bill would require Maryland school districts to begin collecting energy use data (if they aren’t already) and develop an energy plan of the district.  This effort dovetails nicely with what we are calling for in Prince George’s County and will be an improvement to schools throughout Maryland.

You can read the written testimony  here .

The Maryland General Assembly has started their 2021 and many bills that are being brought up will have an impact on the climate future of our children and future generations. So we have been writing testimony on some of the more important ones as part of the Maryland Climate Justice Wing. Here is the second tranche of the testimony that we have submitted so far in the legislative session.

The Maryland General Assembly has started their 2021 session and many bills that are being brought up will have an impact on the climate future of our children and future generations. So we have been writing testimony on some of the more important ones as part of the Maryland Climate Justice Wing. Here is some of the testimony that we have submitted so far in the legislative session.

On December 9, our lead volunteer spoke against the amendment of the pipeline permit requested by Panda Mattawoman, LLC at the Public Service Commission. We spoke out to support the activities of Clean Air Prince George’s and for the health of those that live near the proposed pipeline, in particular the students in the area.

You can read the testimony here.

You can read submitted to the Maryland Public Service Commission calling on the denial of a permit in case 9330 that would result in construct of a new natural gas pipeline that would come within a half mile of Brandywine Elementary School in regards to a call to action from our friends at Clean Air Prince George’s.