California public students will stick to reading, writing and arithmetic, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger decided as he vetoed a bill late Friday that would have required climate change be added to schools’ curriculum.The measure, sponsored by state Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, also would have required future science textbooks to include climate change as a subject.In January, the state Senate approved the bill, SB 908, by a 26-13 vote.Watts Up With That
Only two Republicans supported the proposal.In his veto statement, Schwarzenegger said he supported education that spotlights the dangers of climate change. However, the Republican governor said he was opposed to educational mandates from Sacramento.”I continue to believe that the state should refrain from being overly prescriptive in specific school curriculum, beyond establishing rigorous academic standards,” he said.
Schwarzenegger added that the state’s Integrated Waste Management Board’s Office of Education and Environment, along with California’s Environmental Protection Agency, are creating an environmental curriculum for K-12 students that includes climate change issues.Simitian had said his bill wouldn’t dictate what to teach; rather, it would require the state Board of Education and state Department of Education to decide how the topic would be covered and which grades would study it.
While global warming is included in high school classes as it pertains to weather, the subject is not required to be covered in all textbooks, according to the California Science Teachers Association.