Bill to Change Approval Process for Ohio Science Standards

On January 24, 2002 a bill was introduced into the Ohio House of Representatives to change that state's procedures for approving the new science standards currently being written. HB 484 would require the science standards to be approved by both houses of the General Assembly. This requirement is new, and would not apply to any other subject. On January 29 SB 222, a bill with the same provisions, was introduced in the state Senate.

The introduction of these two bills coincides with an attempt to insert "intelligent design" into the standards as an alternative to evolution. The primary sponsor of HB 484 also recently introduced HB 481, which deals with "origins science" and is supported by evolution opponents who favor "intelligent design".

The text of HB 484 reads as follows:

A BILL To provide that before the science curriculum standards that are to be adopted by the State Board of Education prior to December 31, 2002, may be effective, those standards must be approved by a concurrent resolution passed by both houses of the General Assembly

Section 1. The State Board of Education shall not adopt the science standards prescribed in division (A)(1) of section 3301.079 of the Revised Code unless, by concurrent resolution, those standards are approved by both houses of the General Assembly. Before the House of Representatives or Senate votes on a concurrent resolution approving the standards, its standing committee having jurisdiction over education legislation shall conduct at least one public hearing on the standards. The joint hearing prescribed in division (F) of section 3301.079 of the Revised Code satisfies the requirement for a public hearing under this section so long as such hearing includes an opportunity for testimony from the general public and interested parties.