The Louisiana state Senate Education Committee rejected a move to repeal the state's Science Education Act on Wednesday, handing a defeat to opponents who have criticized the law for essentially allowing the teaching of creationism in science class.
Under the law, public school teachers are permitted to introduce "supplemental textbooks and other instructional materials to help students understand, analyze, critique, and review scientific theories in an objective manner." While the Science Education Act says teachers may not "promote any religious doctrine," it contains no specific ban on the teaching of creationism. Teachers and local school boards also aren't required to obtain prior approval from the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education before introducing supplemental material, the Associated Press reports.
Opponents -- who have tried and failed to repeal the law in years past -- argue that it intentionally provides a loophole for teaching creationism and encouraging skepticism about scientific subjects such as cloning and global warming. Supporters counter that there haven't been any specific complaints of questionable materials being introduced into Louisiana classrooms.