Anti-NGSS bill in Iowa

01.25.2019

Iowa's House File 61 would, if enacted, require the state department of education not to "adopt, approve, or require implementation of the [N]ext [G]eneration [S]cience [S]tandards by school districts and accredited nonpublic schools." Iowa adopted the NGSS in 2015.

The bill, introduced on January 23, 2019, and referred to the House Education Committee, is sponsored by Skyler Wheeler (R-District 4). In a 2016 interview with the Caffeinated Thoughts blog (April 19, 2016), Wheeler declared, "I also oppose NGSS as it pushes climate change ... NGSS also pushes evolution even more." 

In 2017, Wheeler cosponsored House File 140, which contained the same provision about the NGSS, as well as House File 480, which would 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 bills died in committee.

The Iowa Association of School Boards has already declared its opposition to House File 61, according to the legislative website; it was one of a number of state educational organizations to declare their opposition to House File 140 in 2017.