"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)

5.09.2007

church & state in Texas

Texas Rep. Warren Chisum (who represents the farm)'s Bible Class bill made it through the House yesterday. Despite an effort by right-wing groups to strip the provisions added by the Public Education Committee to safeguard schools, teachers, and students from a First Amendment lawsuit, the bill made it out of the House with those provisions intact. The Senate probably won't strip those provisions, which require little details like teacher training and the use of an actual textbook and curriculum standards, as well as allowing local school districts to make their own decisions about whether or not to offer the elective courses.

While I'd prefer to see a bill that included provisions for a comparative religion course, I'm glad to see that the Bible class bill will do a much better job of making sure that public school students who so choose learn about the Bible in a nondevotional manner. I'm also glad that this makes it much less likely that Texas school districts will be sued over establishment issues.

I know the D.A. and others have worked very hard to make this bill much better than it was in the original form. Congrats to y'all on a job well done.

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