AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The Texas Board of Education has approved tighter rules dictating who can serve on volunteer panels that scrutinize textbooks, a move that could soften ideological fights over what students learn in public schools.
Among the changes approved Friday include a mandate that teachers or professors be given priority for serving on textbook panels for subjects in their areas of expertise.
In past years, some panelists have been social and religious conservatives who raised objections about science texts with extensive lessons on climate change and evolution.
Others suggested tweaking state curriculum to emphasize the importance of Christian doctrine in America's founding.
Critics complain that a few activists with religious or ideological objections have too much power to shape what the state's more than 5 million public school students learn.
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