National Partnership for Women & Families

In the News

STATE POLITICS & POLICY | Louisiana Senate Passes Bill To Allow Alternative Science Texts

STATE POLITICS & POLICY | Louisiana Senate Passes Bill To Allow Alternative Science Texts
[June 18, 2008]

The Louisiana Senate on Monday approved the Louisiana Science Education Act (SB 733) by a vote of 36-0, a bill that allows public school teachers to supplement science textbooks with materials on topics such as human cloning, evolution and global warming. Supporters of the measure claim it will promote critical thinking but opponents claim it is a veiled attempt to add religion to science classes and to challenge well-established science teachings, the AP/KATC.com reports.

The state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education would be able to prohibit supplemental materials it deems inappropriate, according to the legislation. However, opponents of the measure said it would be difficult for the board to ensure that religious materials were not being distributed to students at any of the 69 school districts in the state.

The bill now goes to Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), who has not taken a position on it. Jindal has expressed that he supports the "intelligent design" concept favored by many religious conservatives as an alternative to Darwinian evolution (AP/KATC.com, 6/16).