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One conservative group had put a call out to pack Thursday’s public hearing with witnesses urging the board to adopt materials that question evolution. But they were outnumbered by witnesses supporting evolution.

The board avoided a contentious debate on the theory of intelligent design when an electronic textbook supporting the theory did not make Mr. Scott’s list of recommended materials and was not eligible for consideration.

The new online teaching materials are necessary because the state could not afford to buy new textbooks this year, leaving students to use some that are several years old.