The Colorado Democrat also said in a letter to lawmakers Tuesday that the money would fund the National Environmental Education Act, which pays for environmental education training for universities and non-profit organizations.
In addition, the taxpayer funding would support Project Learning Tree, which trains more than 500,000 people to reach out to 26 million students to teach community planning and issues dealing with energy, water, forestry, and wildlife.
Polis is urging fellow lawmakers to sign a letter he is sending to members of the House Appropriations Committee to lobby for the funding.
“Environmental education increases the public’s environmental awareness and prepares our future workforce to be well-versed in growing fields such as energy efficiency, green building design, commercial scale renewable energy, biofuels, low-emission vehicles, and energy efficient manufacturing facilities,” said the draft letter.
Polis credited environmental education for reducing discipline and classroom control problems, helping students perform better on standardized tests for reading, writing, and social studies, in addition to science and math.
The training would also encourage civic engagement and teach problem-solving skills, Polis said.