2003 Regular Session
By: Representative Barnett (92nd)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 37-43-24, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO DIRECT THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION TO PLACE TEXTBOOK, EQUIPMENT AND SCHOOL SUPPLY PROCUREMENT ORDERS BEFORE THE BEGINNING OF THE FISCAL YEAR FOR STUDENTS ATTENDING CERTAIN SCHOOLS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 37-43-24, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-43-24. (1) This section shall be referred to and may be cited as the "Timely Acquisition of Braille and Large Print Textbooks Act of 2002."
(2) The State Department of Education is hereby authorized and directed to place textbook procurement orders for visually impaired and hearing impaired students in the schools of this state prior to the beginning of the fiscal year for which the expenditure for such order has been authorized by the Legislature. After June 1 of any year, the State Department of Education may order additional books, as needed. In addition, the State Department of Education is authorized and directed to place textbook, equipment and school supply procurement orders for students attending the state-supported schools administered by the State Board of Education before the beginning of the fiscal year for which the expenditure for the order has been authorized by the Legislature. The department shall insure that the appropriate procedures for textbook procurement are followed according to state law and board policy as described in the Textbook Administration Handbook.
SECTION 2. Beginning with the 2004-2005 school year, the State Board of Education shall require that any textbook that includes the teaching of evolution in its contents shall have the following language inserted on the inside front cover of those textbooks:
"The word 'theory' has many meanings: systematically organized knowledge, abstract reasoning, a speculative idea or plan, or a systematic statement of principles. Scientific theories are based on both observations of the natural world and assumptions about the natural world. They are always subject to change in view of new and confirmed observations.
This textbook discusses evolution, a controversial theory some scientists present as a scientific explanation for the origin of living things. No one was present when life first appeared on earth. Therefore, any statement about life's origins should be considered a theory.
Evolution refers to the unproven belief that random, undirected forces produced living things. There are many unanswered questions about the origin of life that are not mentioned in your textbook, including: the major groups of animals suddenly appear in the fossil record (known as the Cambrian Explosion), no new major groups of other living things appeared in the fossil record, major groups of plants and animals have no transitional forms in the fossil record, and all living things possess a complete and complex set of instructions for building a living body. Study hard and keep an open mind."
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2003.