Bill would require Bible classes in Kentucky public schools

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- Kentucky's public schools would have to offer a course about Bible history and require students to pass a civics test before graduating under a pair of proposals that are advancing in the state Senate.

The Senate Education Committee voted overwhelmingly to approve Senate Bills 138 and 159 on Thursday. Senate Bill 159 would require students to pass a civics test before graduating. It would be the same test immigrants must pass before becoming U.S. citizens.

Senate Bill 138 would require schools to offer an elective social studies course on the Bible, both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Democratic Sen. Robin Webb said the Bible is critical to understanding the culture and history of the United States.

The Kentucky Council of Churches and the ACLU oppose the bill, saying it hurts religious freedom.

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