An Idaho Senate panel has approved statewide K-12 science standards. The standards will not include references to climate change and human impacts on the environment.
Sen. Cherie Buckner-Webb, D-Boise, and Sen. Janie Ward-Engelking, D-Boise, both stated they could not "in good conscience" vote to accept standards that did not include the references to climate change.
The other members of the Senate Education Committee voted in favor of accepting the standards. Monday's vote to approve the standards was 6-2.
"If you were in that hearing today, you heard legislators say... it's not that we don't want this taught in our schools," Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra said. "We want to continue the conversation moving forward. We want these [references] in our standards."
The science standards provide the basic requirements for curriculum taught in Idaho schools. School districts and teachers have the ability to add to the curriculum outlined by the state-approved science standards.
"Educators... will continue to teach and move forward with our kids and bring them into the 21st Century," Ybarra said.
Idaho's science standards have not been updated since 2001. The new standards will be temporary, and will be revisited during the 2018 legislative session in favor of permanent science standards in the state.