Anti-NGSS bill in Iowa

02.13.2018

House File 2317, introduced in the Iowa House of Representatives on February 12, 2018, and referred to the House Education Committee, would, if enacted, revert the state's science standards to "the science standards utilized by school districts in this state during the 2014-2015 school year" — just before the state adopted the Next Generation Science Standards.

The lead sponsor of HF 2317 is Sandy Salmon (R-District 63). In 2015, Salmon introduced a bill, House File 272, which would have prevented Iowa from adopting the NGSS, in part because they "present evolution as scientific fact and shine a negative light on human impacts on climate change," according to the Cedar Rapids Gazette (March 2, 2015).

After HF 140 died and the NGSS was adopted in Iowa, Salmon filed a bill, House File 2054 in 2016, to reverse the adoption. Then, after HF 2054 died, Salmon filed a bill, House File 140 in 2017, to prohibit the "adopting, approving, or requiring implementation of the [N]ext [G]eneration [S]cience [S]tandards by school districts and accredited nonpublic schools."

In the same year, Salmon was also a cosponsor of House File 480, which 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. Both HF 140 and HF 480 died.

In addition to undoing the adoption of the NGSS, Salmon's new bill, HF 2317, would also prevent the state from requiring adoption of the state science standards or the use of specific instructional materials and would require further revisions to the state science standards to be approved by the legislature and governor.