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Friday, August 1, 2008

Kansas School Board Voters Focus on Evolution

What most voters really want to know about the Repulicans campaigning for the Kansas State Board of Education is whether or not they believe in evolution, according to The Topeka Capital Journal. "Everybody wants to talk about evolution and creationism," Bill Pannbacker, a candidate hoping to represent the north-central to northeast of the state, tells the newspaper.
In each board election, half of the ten seats are up for grabs, meaning the makeup of the board can change significantly—and the makeup, history shows, greatly affects the course the board's decision take. In 2005, conservative school board members, who held a majority, pushed through science standards that heavily criticized evolution and refused to define science as a field that deals only with "natural" explanations, basically backing "intelligent design." The standards were changed only after an election altered the makeup of the board, giving power to more moderate and liberal members.
Republican candidates for the general school board election will be decided in a primary on August 5. —Heather Wax