Should Florida students be taught alternatives to climate change, evolution?

Republican state lawmaker wants 'different world views' taught in schools

By Ashley Harding - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A newly filed bill is calling for teaching alternatives to climate change and evolution in public schools. 

Every day, Florida students are taught science, evolution and human-caused climate change in the classroom.

A proposal, sponsored by Sen. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, aims to have schools teach alternatives to those ideas. While it doesn’t specify exactly what those alternatives are, it calls on schools to teach “different world views” on issues like evolution and climate change.

READ: Senate Bill 330- Educational Standards for K-12 Public Schools

If passed, the bill would require these concepts to be taught in what it calls a “factual, objective and balanced manner.” It calls this a necessary change because Florida schools’ current curriculum on those subjects equates to what it calls “political and religious indoctrination."

Some educators are criticizing the bill, saying the rule change would take away from a packed school curriculum. Other scholars against it said climate change and evolution are established science.

A new survey from Yale University and George Mason University found:

  • 69% of Americans are somewhat worried about climate change
  • 29% said they are very worried
  • About 7 in 10 Americans agree climate change is happening
  • 9% said they don’t believe it’s happening
  • 19% said they weren’t sure

The Associated Press also found 74 percent of Americans said extreme weather -- like droughts, hurricanes, floods and heat waves -- in the last five years has influenced their thoughts about climate change.

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