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AAG appeals for increase in geography education fund

US: A campaign by the American Association of Geographers (AAG) to increase dedicated federal funding for geography education has garnered endorsements from at least 13 governors, along with four former secretaries of state, two former defense secretaries and a variety of corporations and nonprofits. Funding for geography education is being touted as an economic necessity by the group.

“If students are not exposed to spatial thinking in K to 12 education, they will be challenged at some level to use GIS, GPS and other tools; this is a workforce development issue,” John Wertman, AAG”s senior program manager for government relations, told HuffPost.

The association is using the current reauthorisation of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act — the main US education platform on which NCLB was passed in 2001 — as a way to emphasise the need for dedicated geography funding, said Wertman. The platform focuses on science, technology and engineering, and math education, but Wertman said AAG research shows more companies also stress the need for geography and spatial thinking in the workplace.

The group has reached out mostly to state governments and corporations for help. The list of governors offering their endorsements is bipartisan: Kansas” Sam Brownback (R), Florida”s Rick Scott (R), Maryland”s Martin O”Malley (D) and Vermont”s Peter Shumlin (D). The group also announced support from former Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright, James Baker, George Schultz and Henry Kissinger.

Source: Huffington Post