Environment Teacher Numbers Low

The Capital Times (Wisconsin) November 14, 2007-- Susan Troller

Although environmental studies classes seem to have a strong ability to engage students, which is one of the current buzzwords in education circles, figures from Wisconsin's Department of Public Instruction show there were just 18 full-time equivalent positions spread over 45 teachers for this kind of course work during the 2006-2007 school year.

In addition to Middleton's Advanced Placement environmental studies class, other Dane County schools that offer AP environmental studies include James Madison Memorial and Mount Horeb. There are also AP environmental studies classes offered in Fort Atkinson, Reedsburg and Richland Center. A total of 31 public and private schools offer AP environmental studies in Wisconsin, according to DPI.

Educators say applied research and hands-on experience in the natural world is a critical part of the environmental education experience, but rising transportation costs and the funding crisis in education are putting the brakes on many field trip opportunities.