West Virginia's "intelligent design" bill dies

West Virginia State Capitol.

West Virginia's Senate Bill 619 — which would, if enacted, have allowed "[t]eachers in public schools, including public charter schools, that include any one or more of grades Kindergarten through 12, [to] teach intelligent design as a theory of how the universe and/or humanity came to exist" — died when the legislature adjourned sine die at midnight, March 10, 2023.

"The failure of this misguided bill is a victory for the integrity of science education in West Virginia, and I congratulate all the Mountaineers who worked to ensure that it failed," commented NCSE's Executive Director Ann Reid. "But the bill progressed too far and too fast for us to be complacent that there won't be future attacks on evolution education."

Introduced on February 14, 2023, Senate Bill 619 was passed by the Senate Education Committee on February 21, 2023, and then by the Senate on February 25, 2023, on a 26-3 vote, as NCSE previously reported. The bill then proceeded to the House Education Committee, where it was included on the agenda but never received a hearing.

After the bill passed the Senate, it sparked a national outcry, with Americans United for Separation for Church and State, the National Association of Geoscience Teachers, and the American Civil Liberties Union all expressing their opposition to the teaching of "intelligent design" in the public schools, as NCSE previously reported.

Glenn Branch
Short Bio

Glenn Branch is Deputy Director of NCSE.