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Advocates disappointed by veto of climate change classroom materials bill

Governor Glenn Youngkin is saying no thank you to a bill that would have expanded the availability of instructional materials about climate change in public schools. The governor says the bill is redundant because schools already teach about climate change and that buying new materials would be an unfunded mandate.

"It's not redundant," argus Glenn Branch at the National Center for Science Education, "and it was something that was needed given the lackluster treatment of climate change in the state science standards."

The veto message is also not resonating with Tim Cywinski at the Sierra Club. 

"His claims as to why the veto is necessary don't hold up to scrutiny," Cywinski says. "Not only is this something we pass all the time to make improvements and tune ups to the curriculum, but this policy was just designed so localities could opt in. No one is forcing localities to teach a certain way."

In the next week, the governor will also be responding to an effort by Democrats to restore funding for Virginia to be part of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative -- a multi-state group the governor wants to leave.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association. 

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.