WASHINGTON (AP) — Maryland Congressman John P. Sarbanes says environmental education must be a national priority.

Sarbanes made the comments Monday after participating in a White House Summit on Environmental Education. Sarbanes says research shows hands-on, outdoor environmental education helps student performance not only in science and math, but also in reading and social studies. Sarbanes says the nation must invest in environmental education to meet economic and energy challenges as well as protect the environment.

The Environmental Protection Agency announced at the summit the creation of a federal task force to help create a national plan for environmental education. In addition to the EPA, the task force will be co-chaired by the Departments of Education and Interior.

Sarbanes has also sponsored legislation to authorize federal funding for outdoor educational activities.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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