Going Biblical In Texas
The Texas Board Of Education has now indicated that high schools in the Lone Star State may offer courses in Bible study:
AUSTIN – Broad guidelines for a Bible course for Texas high schools were approved by the State Board of Education on Friday, but board members delayed action on specific curriculum requirements until the attorney general has ruled on whether all school districts must offer the course.There's no word as of yet of whether or not students can obtain extra credit for memorizing the books of the Bible in their correct order.
Board members approved a rule establishing the elective course, which is supposed to be available in high schools by the fall of 2009, on a 13-2 vote.
Critics said the failure to approve specific content standards for the course could lead to some teachers promoting their own religious views or cause other constitutional problems that result in lawsuits against school districts.
But most board members said they wanted to wait and see how Attorney General Greg Abbott rules on the question of whether the Bible course law passed by the Legislature in 2007 requires all school districts to offer the class in high school. Some lawmakers have said the class must be available in all high schools, while others said it is a local decision.
“Until we get the attorney general’s opinion back, how can we know how to proceed,” said board member Bob Craig, R-Lubbock, echoing the views of the majority. “We might be taking action and doing something that we will have to change based on the attorney general’s ruling.”
About two dozen high schools in the state already offer an elective course on the Bible, but there currently are no state guidelines for how the class must be taught and what material should be covered.