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After big battle, Idaho lawmakers approve school science standards with climate change intact

It look three years of debate, two rewrites and over a thousand public comments, but Idaho lawmakers have now approved new science standards, with all of the proposed sections on climate change left intact.

Scott Cook, the director of Academics at the Idaho Department of Education called this a “big win for Idaho students, science education and the democratic process.”

Earlier this month, the state’s House Education Committee approved most of the science standards but dropped what educators saw as some of the key references to human activity and its impact on global warming. That decision was essentially overruled by the Senate Education Committee, which voted Thursday 6 to 3 to approve the standards as a whole. The public had overwhelmingly supported keeping the standards intact, with robust education on climate change.

Idaho will now move forward to implement the new science standards for grades kindergarten though twelve, replacing standards dating back to 2001. Chris Taylor, the science and social studies coordinator for the Boise School District, was on the committee that wrote the standards. He had been urging lawmakers to pass them. “We are excited for the next steps and to train teachers to implement these standards in their classrooms,” Taylor said.

Watch the report from Special Correspondent Lisa Stark on the battle over these standards:

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