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Simitian bill would teach climate change

California students would learn about climate change if a bill authored by state Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, is adopted and signed into law.

Simitian's bill, SB 908, was approved unanimously by the Senate Education Committee Jan. 16 and goes to the floor of the Senate for a vote on Wednesday. If it passes, it would then go to the Assembly and the governor for signature.

The bill would require California schools to teach about climate change in their science curriculum.

"California's students need to understand what's happening and what's causing it," Simitian said. "A rigorous program of science instruction has to be both current and relevant, and that certainly has to include climate change."

"Global climate change is a complex environmental issue that will be facing society for a long time to come," said Melissa Hippard, Loma Prieta Chapter Director of the Sierra Club. "Senator Simitian's bill, SB 908, recognizes that our children are tomorrow's leaders and gives them the education they need to make informed decisions."

If the bill is signed into law, climate change would be added to a list of topics to be added to the science curriculum for California schools during the next scheduled update of curriculum standards. Textbook publishers use those standards to revise the books that are eligible to used in California schools.

-- Don Kazak

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