Anti-science education legislation in 2018 Oklahoma legislature

Anti-science education legislation in 2018 Oklahoma legislature

Action Alert:  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 is not on the agenda for the February 21 committee meeting.  Please contact the committee members with you objections to the bill.  Here is the contact info for the committee:

Chris Kannady, Chair, 557-7337, chris.kannady(at)okhouse(dot)gov
Tim Downing, Vice-Chair, 557-7365, tim.downing(at)okhouse(dot)gov
Greg Babinec, 557-7304, greg.babinec(at)okhouse(dot)gov
Rhonda Baker, 557-7311, rhonda.baker(at)okhouse(dot)gov
Kevin Calvey, 557-7357, kevin.calvey(at)okhouse(dot)gov
Avery Frix, 557-7302, avery.frix(at)okhouse(dot)gov
Elise Hall, 557-7403, elise.hall(at)okhouse(dot)gov
Justin Humphrey, 557-7382, justin.humphrey(at)okhouse(dot)gov
John Paul Jordan, 557-7352, jp.jordan(at)okhouse(dot)gov
Ben Loring, 557-7399, ben.loring(at)okhouse(dot)gov
John Montgomery, 557-7374, john.montgomery(at)okhouse(dot)gov
Carl Newton, 557-7339, carl.newton(at)okhouse(dot)gov
Terry O’Donnell, 557-7379, terry.odonnell(at)okhouse(dot)gov
Leslie Osborn, 557-7333, leslie.osborn(at)okhouse(dot)gov
David Perryman, 557-7401, david.perryman(at)okhouse(dot)gov
Michael Rogers, 557-7362, michael.rogers(at)okhouse(dot)gov
Johnny Tadlock, 557-7363, johnny.tadlock(at)okhouse(dot)gov
Emily Virgin, 557-7323, emily.virgin(at)okhouse(dot)gov
Collin Walke, 557-7335, collin.walke(at)okhouse(dot)gov
Kevin West, 557-7343, kevin.west(at)okhouse(dot)gov
Cory Williams, 557-7411, cory.williams(at)okhouse(dot)gov
Rande Worthen, 557-7398, rande.worthen(at)okhouse(dot)gov

A text file with the email list is here.

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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