The St. Petersburg Times education blog, The Gradebook, wonders how Wednesday’s Senate education committee meeting will go with Senator Storms’ “academic freedom” bill on the schedule.
The committee has seven members – four Republicans and three Democrats – and one of the Republicans, Sen. Stephen Wise, R-Jacksonville, is co-sponsoring Storms’ bill. Two members – Chairman Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, and Sen. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami – have commented about the issue, but not enough to comfortably predict how they will vote. As for the other four, who knows?
The blog then links to an earlier news story that quotes the committee chair.
Sen. Don Gaetz, the Panhandle Republican who chairs the K-12 committee, said he will most likely schedule Storms’ bill for consideration.
“I had hoped the Board of Education would resolve the scientific standards, but obviously the pot is still boiling,” said Gaetz, former Okaloosa school superintendent.
Still, he is cautious.
“I just hope we don’t have the second rendition of the Scopes Monkey trial,” said Gaetz, a self-described Christian, “I don’t think her bill does that. If she wants to truly encourage discussion and debate, then I can be supportive. If it turns into a prescription for a certain religious doctrine, then I have to oppose the bill.”