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Texas State Board of Education to vote Friday on science textbooks

Presentation of climate science is among the possible points of contention regarding the textbook standards.

The State Board of Education is expected to vote Friday on which new science textbooks to approve for Texas public schools. As KUT’s Becky Fogel reports, some Republican board members are pushing for materials that include creationism and downplay climate change.

And that is very concerning to Emily Witt with the Texas Freedom Network, a progressive group. She says it’s vital to teach students accurate information about climate change because they’re experiencing it.

“A lot of them lived through Hurricane Harvey, the Texas winter storm, we are in the hottest year on record, they couldn’t go outside and play a lot of their summer. They know climate change is happening. They deserve to be given the tools to meet this challenge and this crisis that they have inherited.”

A previous Texas Freedom Network analysis found the materials the state board is considering conform with the science standards on teaching climate change. But Witt says publishers could water down the content in order to win approval in one of the largest textbook markets in the U.S.

“They would be taking out a lot of the facts around evolution and climate change so they could satisfy this Republican-led board.”

I’m Becky Fogel in Austin.

Mark Haslett has served at KETR since 2013. Since then, the station's news operation has enjoyed an increase in listener engagement and audience metrics, as well recognition in the Texas AP Broadcasters awards.