National News Roundup
More than three out of four Americans believe that both the scientific theory of evolution and the biblical theory of creation should be taught in the public schools, according to an Associated Press-NBC News Poll.
In response to the question, "Do you think public schools should teach only the scientific theory of evolution, only the biblical theory of creation, or should schools offer both theories?" 76 percent of respondents said the public schools should teach both.
Wayne A. Moyer, executive director of the National Association of Biology Teachers, said the question is misleadingly worded and does not address the current controversies in several states over "scientific creationism."
"This is a very general question that doesn't deal with the real issue being used by the creationists," he said. "Their point is that creation is a scientific theory that should be taught alongside evolution.
"I agree with the idea that the Bible account of creation is a valuable thing that should be taught in the proper setting," Mr. Moyer added, "but a science class is not the proper setting."
Delegates to an afl-cio convention last week reaffirmed the labor organization's opposition to the Reagan Administration's proposals "that would dismantle the federal partnership role in establishing educational programs of national significance."
In a resolution adopted at its annual convention in New York, the afl-cio said it "deplored" the Administration's efforts to cut programs for minorities, the disadvantaged, and the handicapped "at a time when equal access to educational programs is critical for promoting a productive work force and eliminating inequalities," according to Dorothy Shields, the organization's director of education.
"We urge Congress to resist any new initiatives that would reduce federal aid to education through budget cuts or by conversion to block grants," the group said.
The resolution also voiced the afl-cio's opposition to tuition tax credits and education vouchers, and reaffirmed the group's determination to help maintain strong public school systems, Ms. Shields said.
Immunization programs financed through the Centers for Disease Control stand to lose one-third of their money in the coming year if Congress passes the budget recommendation made by the Reagan Administration in September.
The centers, based in Atlanta, provide grants to state health departments, which conduct many of the immunization programs for students.
Although the budget cuts would not be welcome, the situation could be worse, according to a spokesman for the agency. cdc's measles-elimination program has been very successful--in large part because of the efforts of school officials--and the agency had planned to reduce its budget anyway. "We're now in more of a maintenance phase," the spokesman said.
State and local immunization programs are strong, and volunteer groups are becoming more involved in the effort, according to the centers' Dr. William H. Foege. "All those factors may help to offset any reduction in federal resources here," Dr. Foege said in a statement last week.
A final appropriation for the fiscal year 1982 has not yet been passed, but the Administration has recommended a budget of $21.8 million--down from $30 million in fiscal year 1981. The House has recommended that the program receive $30.9 million; the Senate recommendation is $29.5 million.