No Vote Scheduled For Idaho Science Standards

Feb 2, 2018

Students, teachers and lobbyists testified overwhelmingly in support Friday of proposed changes to Idaho’s educational science standards.

For the third straight year, state lawmakers are considering whether to require schools across the state to teach students about the consequences of a changing climate.

The vast majority of scientists agree that human activity – like burning fossil fuels – are the main driver of global warming, but some state lawmakers, like Rep. Lance Clow (R-Twin Falls), want students to weigh the evidence themselves.

“These primary factors have already come to a conclusion in the standard and at what point can a school district deviate from the standards," Clow asked.

Throughout the two-day hearing, Rep. Julie VanOrden (R-Pingree) forbid the public from talking about climate change – including Boise State geology professor Matthew Kohn.

“This hearing is not about climate change, it’s about our standards that we’re talking about," VanOrden said.

"It is about education and I wish to emphasize that my education came too late for me to do anything related to climate change … " Kohn said, before VanOrden ruled him out of order.

Others testified that Idaho students wouldn’t be able to get jobs after graduation if the curriculum isn’t up to date.

It’s unclear when the House Education Committee will meet again to vote on the standards.

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