References to “Climate Change” Removed from Idaho Science Education Standards

Silencing Science Tracker

References to “Climate Change” Removed from Idaho Science Education Standards

On February 8, 2017, the Idaho House of Representatives Education Committee voted to remove references to humans’ contribution to climate change from science education standards. The standards had originally required teachers to ask students questions about the causes of rising global temperatures, with an emphasis on the major role of human activity, and to help students understand that human activity can disrupt ecosystems and threaten certain species. Those requirements were, however, removed by Republicans on the House Education Committee. The committee then voted in favor of the revised standards.

UpdateOn February 27, 2017, the Idaho Senate Education Committee voted in favor of the revised standards that omit discussion of climate change. Members of the Senate Committee had reportedly tried “persuade their House counterparts to keep [the] sections that talk about [man-made] climate change, but . . . the House wouldn’t budge, so they reluctantly gave in.”

On March 15 and 24, 2017, the full Idaho Senate and House of Representatives (respectively) voted to adopt the revised science standards. There was reportedly some debate in the House as to whether the removed provisions discussing climate change and human activities should be reinserted. Ilana Rubel (D-District 18) reportedly said: “This takes us into the dark ages of science denial, and is absolutely something we should not be doing.” However, the House ultimately approved the standards in a 56-9 vote.


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