Green Schools Conference to Address Funding, Drought

PASADENA, Calif. — The two-day Green California Schools Conference kicks off in Pasadena Nov. 5, bringing together teachers, administrators, architects, engineers, facility managers and others to share knowledge about a variety of sustainability issues facing the state’s schools and universities. The summit is the largest annual event focused on green programs in the nation’s largest K-12 and higher education systems.

Through an expo with more than 100 companies offering green products and services, and special events including a leadership awards reception, the summit allows public and private sector stakeholders to discover innovations in green and sustainable technologies, policies, teaching strategies and best practices, helping them save money, improve learning environments and reduce environmental impacts.

This year several sessions focus on Proposition 39 funding and maintaining operations during the state’s prolonged drought, which has now reached critical levels in many communities. Proposition 39, also known as the California Clean Energy Jobs Act, will make approximately $550 million available for energy efficiency and clean energy projects in the state’s schools annually through fiscal year 2018-2019.

Sessions like “Finding Value in Prop 39” and “Leveraging Energy-Related Prop 39 Money” will help attendees navigate the act, capitalize on the available funding and offer an opportunity to share related tips and best practices. Meanwhile “The Drought — Impacts and Solutions for Schools” and “School Gardens and Water Conservation” will offer practical advice for managing the state’s ongoing water shortage and creating an institutional culture of water conservation.

Multiple sessions will also focus on high performance schools, net-zero facilities and developing and implementing sustainability-focused curriculums and initiatives.

Keynote speakers for the opening session on Nov. 5 will be Rear Admiral Len Hering and Senator Fran Pavley. As Commander of the Navy Region Southwest, Admiral Hering developed groundbreaking programs in energy, water and waste management, setting standards that have influenced practices throughout the Department of Defense. He currently serves as executive director of the California Center for Sustainable Energy.

Before entering politics, Senator Pavley was a middle school teacher for nearly three decades. She later authored the landmark Global Warming Solutions Act, as well as legislation that led to the development of the nation’s first K-12 environmental literacy curriculum. She currently serves as the chair of the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee.

Attendees can accrue Continuing Education Credits (CEUs) for both the International Code Council and Build it Green by attending specific sessions. Renewal points are also available through the Construction Management Association of America, and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) will offer credits for selected sessions.