Wednesday, October 01, 2008

American Constitution Society for Law and Policy: Texas Public School Officials Promote Controversial Bible Curriculum

Texas Public School Officials Promote Controversial Bible Curriculum
American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (Stanford Law School)

Some state education officials in Texas are promoting a controversial Bible curriculum to public school officials and boards across the state. The Dallas Morning News reports that four State Board of Education officials sent letters to Texas superintendents and school boards recommending course materials from the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools, a North Carolina-based religious group.

The group’s curriculum, which uses the Bible as its primary text, has been the focus of federal lawsuits in Texas and Florida. The Ector County School District in Texas was sued last year after adopting a policy using the group’s curriculum in Bible courses. The lawsuit was settled in spring after the school district agreed to stop using the National Council’s curriculum. The Nation Council claims its curriculum is used in hundreds of public school districts nationwide, but does not name the school districts. Its Web site states that the “Bible was the foundation and blueprint for our Constitution, Declaration of Independence, our educational system, and our entire history until the last 20 to 30 years.”

The Texas Freedom Network, a progressive advocacy group, criticized the state education officials’ actions as “recklessly encouraging school districts to adopt a curriculum that will put those districts and their taxpayers in legal jeopardy and threaten the religious freedom of families to pass on their own faith beliefs to their children.”

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