Two Kentucky schools were named 2022 Green Ribbon Schools (GRS) by the U.S. Department of Education (USED). This year’s honorees were named from a pool of candidates nominated by 19 states. 

Cassidy Elementary in Lexington and Ascension in Louisville were honored for their innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness, and ensure effective sustainability education.

The aim of ED-GRS is to inspire schools, districts, and institutions of higher education (IHEs) to strive for 21st-century excellence by highlighting promising school sustainability practices and resources that all can employ. The award recognizes schools, districts, and IHEs that:

  • Reduce environmental impact and costs;
  • Improve the health and wellness of schools, students, and staff; and
  • Provide effective environmental and sustainability education.

To advance sustainable schools throughout the nation, the Administration’s Plan for Building Better School Infrastructure includes investments from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and American Rescue Plan (ARP), such as a $500 million grant program to improve the energy efficiency of school facilities; a $5 billion Clean School Bus Program to support electric school bus acquisition; and funding for lead in water testing and remediation.

In addition, the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief program and State and Local Fiscal Recovery funds have provided over $470 billion to states and districts to help schools stay open, including through improvements to building systems that reduce energy costs and support healthy environments, as well as by providing engaging outdoor classroom spaces.

Most recently, the USED proposed an Office of Infrastructure and Sustainability and a National Clearinghouse on School Infrastructure and Sustainability as part of the President’s Fiscal Year 2023 budget request to support schools in creating safe, healthy, and sustainable 21st century learning environments.