Portland Public Schools ‘Climate Crisis Response’ policy centers ‘racial equity’ and ‘climate justice’


In 2022, Portland Public Schools adopted its “Climate Crisis Response, Climate Justice and Sustainable Practices Policy.” Through the policy, the district committed to “building a culture of learning, responsibility, and sustainability centered on our values of racial equity and climate justice.”

The district states that it “aims to educate and empower students as leaders in the just transition to a sustainable city and restorative society.” It also will “prioritize investments that achieve the greatest emissions reduction, while integrating climate action into our curriculum and developing a culture of environmental stewardship and climate justice.”

The document explains that the district will “take steps to prepare schools for the effects of climate change, and will ensure staff and students learn about and engage in climate solutions, climate resiliency, and climate justice practices.”

Some of the goals listed in the document include providing “learning opportunities for staff on climate science/climate justice,” providing opportunities for students to “probe the underlying causes of the climate crisis and the structural racism embedded in climate change due to actions by majority white countries with disproportionate negative burdens and impacts on people of color,” and “support student-led climate justice, climate action, and climate resiliency initiatives.”