Georgia high schools would be allowed to offer elective courses that cover the Bible from an academic perspective, under a bill introduced last week by three Democrats in the state Senate.
The measure would order the state board of education to approve a curriculum that complies with a 1963 U.S. Supreme Court opinion stating that public schools may teach the academic content of the Bible but may not use the book for devotional purposes.
The bill recommends that the board approve a textbook published last year by the Bible Literacy Project, a Fairfax, Va.-based publisher. An ecumenical group of Christians, Jews, and civil liberties advocates has endorsed the text.
Georgia state Sen. Tim Golden, the chairman of the Democratic Caucus, and Sens. Doug Stoner and Kasim Reed are sponsoring the legislation. It is similar to a bill that Democratic leaders introduced in the Alabama House of Representatives. (“Alabama Lawmakers Push Elective on Bible’s Role in History, Literature,” Jan. 18, 2006.)
A version of this article appeared in the January 25, 2006 edition of Education Week