Bible Classes Allowed

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Teachers of Bible classes in the Mercer County, W. Va., schools will be paid the same salary as other teachers in the school system beginning this month, as part of the district’s effort to meet guidelines issued in October by the state attorney general. (See Education Week, Nov. 20, 1985.)

The 10 teachers of the controversial classes have been granted "curriculum enrichment" certificates by the West Virginia Department of Education and must submit to the control of the school board, according to I. Sue Schmelzer, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction. The teachers' salaries will be paid with private contributions, she added.

The issuance of certificates to the teachers, who are trained at Columbia Bible College, was opposed by Thomas Vogel, president of the West Virginia Education Association.

Ms. Schmelzer estimates as many as 5,000 of the district's 13,500 students are enrolled in the voluntary classes, which are offered for 30 minutes each week during discretionary instructional time.

Vol. 05, Issue 22, Page 19

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