Anti-science education legislation in 2018 Oklahoma legislature

Anti-science education legislation in 2018 Oklahoma legislature

Carryover bill SB 450 was assigned to the House Judiciary Committee on February 5.  Carryover bills in the House start the next session where they left off on the previous year.  It was not assigned to a House committee last year. SB 450 did pass the Senate last year.  SB 450 by Allen, creating the Religious Viewpoints Antidiscrimination Act. Although the bill does not specifically address science education, it could possibly be used to allow non-scientific answers to science questions  The bill is unnecessary to protect student expression of religious viewpoints, because most of the provisions of the bill already exist in current law. It sets forth rights already guaranteed by the U.S. and Oklahoma Constitutions and federal and Oklahoma state law,  as well as recommendations made in federal guidelines.  A similar bill passed in Texas several years ago, but has not been acted upon by any Texas school district.  See this analysis of a previously introduced bill for additional talking points.  The bill was not heard by the April 12 deadline.  Thanks to all who contacted the legislators.

No new anti-science education legislation was introduced for the 2018 Oklahoma legislative session.  SB 393 from last year could technically be reconsidered this year.  We will keep a watch out for that.  Also, 47 shell bills involving education were introduced.  We will watch those as well.

Update:  Shell bill HB 3152 by Coody, Oklahoma Education Act of 2018, is scheduled to be heard by the House Common Education Committee on Feburary 14.  The committee substitute for the bill concerns school board membership, so this one is not anti-science education.

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