TOPEKA When the new State Board of Education is sworn into office next month, one of the first items on its agenda will be evolution.
At least that is according to board member Bill Wagnon, a Democrat from Topeka, who is expected to become chairman of the board when a 6-4 moderate majority is seated Jan. 9.
Wagnon, whose district includes Lawrence, said today that the new board will be briefed at its first meeting on the current science standards that criticize evolution and were approved in 2005 by the existing 6-4 conservative majority on the board.
And the new board will be briefed on science standards that support evolution, which were developed by a committee of scientists and teachers.
"It's likely we'll have a discussion of the proposal and act on it in February," Wagnon said.
When Wagnon brought the matter up during today's final meeting of the 6-4 conservative board, several conservatives protested.
Board members John Bacon, Kathy Martin and Ken Willard objected to bringing the issue up again, saying the current science standards are sound.