AUSTIN, Texas—The Board of Education is mulling tighter rules on the citizen review panels that scrutinize proposed textbooks.

It's a move that may soften future controversies over teaching evolution.

In the past, volunteer reviewers have included creationists. They complained that some science books weren't sufficiently skeptical on issues like climate change and evolution.

The education board approves books for classroom use but considers objections raised by the citizen reviewers.

The board may give priority to established experts in appropriate fields to serve on the citizen committees.

It's also considering new limits on how much contact its members can have with reviewers, so as not to influence them.

Supporters say the changes may keep Texans who believe in intelligent design from blocking textbooks that discuss evolution on ideological rather than factual grounds.