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Relating to public school elective courses providing academic study
of the Bible offered to certain students.
Two-year Net Impact to General Revenue Related Funds for HB2681, As Introduced:
a negative impact of ($301,480) through the biennium ending August 31, 2023.
The bill would make no appropriation but could provide the legal basis for an
appropriation of funds to implement the provisions of the bill.
Under current law, public schools may offer elective courses on the Bible for grades nine and above. The purpose of these courses is, among other things, to "teach students knowledge of biblical content, characters, poetry, and narratives that are prerequisites to understanding contemporary society and culture, including literature, art, music, mores, oratory, and public policy."
HB 2681 would expand the availability of this elective by allowing it to be offered to students beginning in 6th grade. Certain teacher qualifications for such a course would be revised. Such a course offered to students in grade six, seven, or eight may be considered as a social studies course for purposes of complying with certain curriculum requirements.
Texas Action supports HB 2681 on the principles of individual liberty and limited government. The course would be expanded to allow more students to take it beginning in earlier grades and would still remain permissive at the discretion of local school districts.