The Senate Education Committee will take public testimony this afternoon on proposed school science standards; its meeting starts at 3 p.m. in room WW55. The agenda shows the panel will hear two other bills first. Chairman Dean Mortimer, R-Idaho Falls, told Idaho Education News that the committee will hear testimony about the standards today, but likely won’t vote until next week.
Earlier, the House Education Committee voted to reject one of the standards dealing with energy use and pollution, and reject all of the “supporting content” included with all of the standards, which includes numerous references to climate change. Last year, the House panel’s insistence on removing five sections of the standards on climate change forced a rewrite of those sections, which now are back for consideration. This year, if the Senate panel doesn’t agree with the House, the science standards will become final without any deletions.
At the House committee’s public hearing, everyone who testified, including science teachers, students, parents, scientists, business leaders, professors and more, backed the standards in full. The proposed standards, developed by a panel of Idaho science teachers and experts convened by the state Department of Education, also have been the subject of hearings across the state for the past year that have drawn overwhelmingly positive comments. Idaho Education News has a full report here.