Key Votes

SB 83 - Authorizes Biblical Classes be Taught in High Schools - Georgia Key Vote

Timeline

Issues Related to SB 83

Stage Details

Legislation - Signed (Executive) -

Title: Authorizes Biblical Classes be Taught in High Schools

Legislation - Concurrence Vote Passed (Senate) (53-0) -

Title: Authorizes Biblical Classes be Taught in High Schools

Legislation - Bill Passed With Amendment (House) (122-44) - (Key vote)
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Title: Authorizes Biblical Classes be Taught in High Schools

Vote Result
Yea Votes
Nay Votes
Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to pass with amendment a bill that authorizes biblical classes be taught in high schools.

Highlights:

 

  • Expands elective courses in public schools for grades 9 or above to include courses on (Sec. 1):

    • The Hebrew Scriptures, Old Testament of the Bible;

    • The New Testament of the Bible; and

    • The Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament of the Bible.

  • Specifies that the purpose of these new elective courses is to teach students knowledge of biblical content, characters, poetry, and narrative that are prerequisites in understanding contemporary society and culture, including literature, art, music, mores, oratory, and public policy, and to familiarize students with (Sec. 1):

    • The contents of the Hebrew Scriptures or New Testament;

    • The history of the Hebrew Scriptures or New Testament;

    • The literary style and structure of the Hebrew Scriptures or New Testament; and

    • The influence of the Hebrew Scriptures or New Testament on law, history, government, literature, art, music, customs, morals, values, and culture.

  • Specifies that these courses will be accepted by the State Board of Education for 0.5 unit of elective credit (Sec. 1).

  • Requires these courses to follow applicable law and all federal and state guidelines in maintaining religious neutrality and accommodating the diverse religious views, traditions, and perspectives of students in the school (Sec. 1).

  • Establishes the Realizing Educational Achievement Can Happen (REACH) Scholarship Program in order to provide scholarships and support to eligible students who (Sec. 2):

    • Are United States citizens or eligible non-citizens for 12 consecutive months before the first day of classes of the spring term of the student’s 7th grade year;

    • Are enrolled enrolled in a REACH participating school system;

    • Qualify for the federal free or reduced lunch program;

    • Do not have more than 2 in-school suspensions during the 2 semesters or 4 quarters right before the spring term of the student’s 7th grade year;

    • Do not have any criminal or drug-related convictions;

    • Do not have more than 5 days of unexcused absences during any of the student’s middle school calendar years;

    • Have their parents or guardians submit a release of information form authorizing the school to provide the authority information related to the student’s involvement in the program; and

    • Show academic promise through grades, attendance, and behavior.

  • Requires a REACH participating school system to choose the students for the program in the spring of the 7th grade year or in the fall of the 8th grade year, for participation beginning in the 8th grade year (Sec. 2).

  • Authorizes a REACH participating school system with 5 or more high schools to choose 12 REACH scholars, and a REACH participating school system with less than 5 high schools to choose 7 REACH scholars (Sec. 2).

  • Requires the authority to provide $10,000 for each REACH scholar for the first year of the school system’s participation in the scholarship program (Sec. 2).

  • Requires a REACH participating school system to provide a proportionate share of the scholarship, each year after their initial participation year (Sec. 2).

  • Authorizes the authority to establish and operate a non-profit corporation to be designated as the REACH Georgia Foundation, to help the scholarship program find funding (Sec. 2).

Legislation - Bill Passed (Senate) (56-0) -

Title: Authorizes Biblical Classes be Taught in High Schools

Legislation - Introduced (Senate) -

Title: Authorizes Biblical Classes be Taught in High Schools

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