Two anti-NGSS bills die in Iowa

Two bills targeting the Iowa state science standards partly because of their treatment of climate change died on March 8, 2019, when the deadline for bills to be reported out of committee expired. Iowa adopted the Next Generation Science Standards in 2015.

House File 61 would have required the state department of education not to "adopt, approve, or require implementation of the [N]ext [G]eneration [S]cience [S]tandards by school districts and accredited nonpublic schools." As NCSE previously reported, its lead sponsor, Skyler Wheeler (R-District 4), is on record as expressing his opposition to the NGSS because "it pushes climate change ... [and] evolution even more."

House File 428 would have reverted the state's science standards to "the science standards utilized by school districts in this state during the 2014-2015 school year." Its lead sponsor, Sandy Salmon (R-District 63), tried to block the adoption of the NGSS in 2015 in part because they "present evolution as scientific fact and shine a negative light on human impacts on climate change," according to the Cedar Rapids Gazette (March 2, 2015).

Iowa educational organizations such as the Iowa State Education Association, the School Administrators of Iowa, and the Iowa Association of School Boards registered their opposition to both bills.