Two down in Iowa

03.06.2017

Two bills in the Iowa legislature that would have undermined the integrity of science education died on March 3, 2017, when a deadline for bills to pass committee in their house of origin expired.

House File 480, introduced and referred to the House Education Committee on March 1, 2017, would, if enacted, have required teachers in Iowa's public schools to include "opposing points of view or beliefs" to accompany any instruction relating to evolution, the origins of life, global warming, or human cloning. There was no requirement that those "points of view or beliefs" have any scientific credibility. In 2015, Iowa adopted the Next Generation Science Standards, so presumably evolution and global warming are presented in the state's classrooms.

House File 140, introduced in the Iowa House of Representatives on January 31, 2017, and referred to the House Education Committee, would, if enacted, have prohibited the state board of education from "adopting, approving, or requiring implementation of the [N]ext [G]eneration [S]cience [S]tandards by school districts and accredited nonpublic schools." The lead sponsor of HF 140, Sandy Salmon (R-District 63), is on record as opposing the NGSS in part of their treatment of evolution and climate change.

Both bills were opposed by the Iowa State Education Association and the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa Action Fund, according to the legislature's website.