Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal is rapidly emerging as a new “moderate” Republican voice, but a court case beginning Wednesday is set to shine light on a controversial policy in his state which sees government funding given to schools that teach creationism.
The case has been brought by a Louisiana teachers’ union and is aimed at a voucher scheme whereby some parents can take their children out of poor state schools and get vouchers to use at private schools.
One of the most controversial aspects of the programme is that some of the schools included on it are conservative Christian organisations that teach creationism in their science classes. When parents use the vouchers at such establishments they are effectively giving state money to teach children lessons that can include alternatives to the theory of evolution or questioning the widely accepted age of the Earth.
The article mentions activism by student Zack Kopplin who began protesting the 2008 Louisiana Science Education Act as a high school project. That Act allowed public funds to be used at schools that teach creationism, clearly a constitutional issue.
Some schools use materials produced by publishers who subscribe to Young Earth Creationism – that the earth is only thousands of years old rather than billions. The information in these materials has been a joke – citing dragons and the Loch Ness monster as evidence against evolution.
More about the legal case. Gov. Jindal’s landmark education reform law faces day in court