Senate bill NO. 235
INTRODUCED BY D. Emrich, S. Hinebauch, T. McGillvray
By Request of the ****
A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: "AN ACT ESTABLISHING REQUIREMENTS FOR SCIENCE INSTRUCTION IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS; defining "scientific Fact"; and PROVIDING AN IMMEDIATE EFFECTIVE DATE."
WHEREAS, the purpose of K-12 education is to educate children in the facts of our world to better prepare them for their future and further education in their chosen field of study, and to that end children must know the difference between scientific fact and scientific theory; and
WHEREAS, a scientific fact is observable and repeatable, and if it does not meet these criteria, it is a theory that is defined as speculation and is for higher education to explore, debate, and test to ultimately reach a scientific conclusion of fact or fiction.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
NEW SECTION. Section 1. Requirements for science instruction in schools. (1) Science instruction may not include subject matter that is not scientific fact.
(2) The board of public education may not include in content area standards any standard requiring curriculum or instruction in a scientific topic that is not scientific fact.
(3) The superintendent of public instruction shall ensure that any science curriculum guides developed by the office of public instruction include only scientific fact.
(4) (a) The trustees of a school district shall ensure that science curriculum and instructional materials, including textbooks, used in the district include only scientific fact.
(b) Beginning July 1, 2025, a parent may appeal the trustees' lack of compliance to subsection (4)(a) to the county superintendent and, subsequently, to the superintendent of public instruction under the provisions for the appeal of controversies in this title pursuant to 20-3-107 and 20-3-210.
(5) The legislature intends for this section to be strictly enforced and narrowly interpreted.
(6) As used in this section, "scientific fact" means an indisputable and repeatable observation of a natural phenomenon.
NEW SECTION. Section 2. Transition. The board of public education, the superintendent of public instruction, and school district boards of trustees shall fully implement the requirements of [section 1] no later than July 1, 2025.
NEW SECTION. Section 3. Codification instruction. [Section 1] is intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 20, chapter 7, part 1, and the provisions of Title 20, chapter 7, part 1, apply to [section 1].
NEW SECTION. Section 4. Effective date. [This act] is effective on passage and approval.
Latest Version of SB 235
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