Lawmakers in Tennesse have introduced legislation that would allow teachers in public schools to teach courses about the Bible.
The principal text in the religion of Christianity is currently not allowed to be taught in most public schools in the United States.
The measure introduced in Tennessee would allow the state’s Department of Education to post course curriculum about the Bible on its website.
Teachers could then draw from the curriculum.
The course, if approved, would be an elective, noted WSMV.
A hearing for the bill is scheduled for Feb. 14.
Senators Sabi Kumar (R-Springfield) and Kerry Roberts (R-Springfield) are sponsoring the bill.
It has moved through several committees since its first introduction on Jan. 31.
“Present law authorizes the state board of education to approve academic standards for an elective state-funded course consisting of a nonsectarian, nonreligious academic study of the Bible and sets out the parameters for such a class. Present law provides that any course for an academic study of the Bible using a curriculum developed by an LEA [local education agency] that has been approved by the department of education may be adopted by another LEA without further approval by the department,” Roberts and Kumar wrote in the bill’s summary.
“This bill adds that the department of education must make available on its website the Bible course curriculums developed by LEAs that have been approved by the department and that are available for adoption by another LEA pursuant to the above-described present law provision. This bill requires the department to notify each LEA in writing no later than July 1 of each year that the LEA may provide an elective state-funded course consisting of a nonsectarian, nonreligious academic study of the Bible in accordance with present law and this bill.”
A similar measure in Kentucky was passed in 2017.
The purpose was stated: to “provide to students knowledge of biblical content, characters, poetry, and narratives that are prerequisites to understanding contemporary society and culture.”