Georgia House approves Bible electives for public schools

Similar Florida measure still under committee review


ATLANTA – Public high schools in Georgia could soon have greater freedom to offer courses on Christianity under legislation approved by the state House.

Passed by a vote of 122-44 Tuesday, the proposal would allow schools to teach electives on the Old and New Testaments of the Bible.

Previously, schools could offer courses on the "History and Literature of" the Old and New Testament eras. Schools wouldn't be required to offer any courses.

The underlying bill passed the Senate in March. But it must go back to the Senate to consider House changes, including additional language about an unrelated scholarship program.

Sen. Jeff Mullis, author of the original bill, says it's about giving schools options and flexibility.

Critics worry that crafting the law around one certain religion violates neutrality standards.

Florida lawmakers considering similar measure

A bill being considered in the Florida Legislature would require school districts to offer elective, high school-level courses that teach an objective study of religion or the Bible.

The courses must be elective, and no student would be required to take a course. HB 195, sponsored by Jacksonville state Rep. Kimberly Daniels, was approved by one committee, but must pass through two other committees before reaching the House floor.

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