The House Education Committee voted unanimously Monday evening to advance a bill that would put the Next Generation Science Standards back on the table in Wyoming.
The bill simply removes a budget footnote passed last year that barred the State Board of Education from considering the standards.
House Speaker Kermit Brown, of Laramie, is among the bill’s co-sponsors. He says the footnote was a knee-jerk reaction by lawmakers who took issue with the standards’ treatment of global climate change and evolution.
Brown says the bill’s passage would not mean the Next Generation Science Standards—or NGSS—will be adopted without scrutiny.
“The State Board of Education wants to consider every standard that’s available—and pick and choose from it for what the Wyoming set of standards ought to be,” says Brown. “All this does is say to them, ‘You can talk about, consider and debate NGSS for whatever it’s worth.’”
Several committee members expressed concerns about both the content of the standards and the level of public input into the standards adoptions process—but said they trusted the State Board to do its job.
In response to last year’s footnote, the State Board voted last summer to halt any consideration of science standards until the Next Generation standards were back in play.
The bill will next be considered by the full House of Representatives.