The House Education Committee voted 12-4 to exclude one science standard completely and to remove all supporting content from the remaining proposed science standards. Rep. Scott Syme, R-Caldwell, moved to remove one standard that included references to climate change, the impact of burning fossil fuels, and the temperature of the earth. Subsequently, the committee voted to remove all supporting content from the proposed standards across the board. Supporting content includes scientific research and industry-accepted conclusions that further explained the standards themselves.
The Idaho Education Association has supported passage of the revised standards in their entirety and is disappointed in the action taken by the committee. Public testimony, both in person and electronically, has overwhelmingly supported passage of the standards, including the supporting content.
The proposed standards, as revised by the House Education Committee, now move to the Senate Education Committee, which has three options:
- Approve the proposed science standards in their entirety as originally submitted by the team of science experts that worked on the revisions since the 2017 legislative session. This action would cause the standards to be adopted, with no further action required or permitted by the House.
- Approve the science standards as approved by the House Education Committee, including the removal of one science standard and all supporting content from the remaining standards. This action by the Senate Education Committee would cause the House Education Committee’s version of the science standards to be adopted.
- Make their own modifications to the original proposed standards. If this occurs, the two versions of the science standards would not be in concurrence, and the issue would return to the House Education Committee for further action.
If the legislature is unable to approve a new set of science standards during this session, Idaho’s science standards would revert to standards approved in 2001. No date has been announced for the science standards to appear on the Senate Education Committee docket. Contact information for members of the Senate Education Committee can be found here.
Idaho Education News has coverage of the House Education Committee’s action, including quotes from IEA member Rep. John McCrostie, D-Garden City, who sits on the committee.
Kimberlee Kruesi of the Associated Press also has a story on the science standards vote.
$200 Million Tax Cut Passes Idaho House
The Idaho House voted by a 59-11 margin to pass HB 463, which is being billed as “the largest tax cut in Idaho history”. The bill now moves to the Senate side, where it must pass through both a committee and the full Senate body.
“The IEA has concerns about this legislation because it would represent a significant decrease in general fund resources, which is the primary source of public school funding,” says IEA President Kari Overall. “Making the pie smaller will be problematic for all funding, but will be especially detrimental to schools, students, and teachers.”
Betsy Russell of the Spokesman-Review has a story on the House approval of the tax cut bill.