State Tells Schools to Teach Bible Literacy But Not How

September 6, 2009

Author: Jessica Meyers Jessica Meyers

Source: The Dallas Morning News

Vanda Terrell is still getting used to saying it.

"Let's open our Bibles," the veteran Plano ISD teacher tells students daily at two public high schools in the district. And it's legal for her to do it. A new state law requires that Texas public schools incorporate Bible literacy into the curriculum.

But the law provides no specific guidelines, funding for materials or teacher training. So high schools are left scrambling to figure out what to teach and how to teach it. A handful of North Texas districts are offering an elective class, but most are choosing instead to embed Old and New Testament teachings into current classes.

Such broad parameters leave one of the most controversial topics in public schools virtually unregulated, say religious scholars and confused educators. They warn that the nebulous law may have thwarted its purpose – to examine the Bible's influence in history and literature.