Relating to education; to allow public schools to offer elective courses focusing on the study of the Bible and religious history in grades six to 12; to allow public schools to display artifacts, monuments, symbols, and texts related to the study of the Bible and religious history if displaying these items is appropriate to the overall educational purpose of the course; and to require the State Board of Education to adopt rules and policies to implement the requirements of the bill.
(a) A public school may offer elective courses in the study of the Bible and religious history in grades six to 12, inclusive, as follows: (1) A social studies course on the Hebrew Scriptures of the Old Testament of the Bible. (2) A social studies course on the New Testament of the Bible. (3) A social studies course on the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament of the Bible. (4) A social studies course in religious history. (b) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules and policies necessary for implementing the requirements of this act.
(a) Elective courses offered pursuant to this act shall be designed to do all of the following: (1) Teach students about Bible characters, poetry, and narratives that are useful for understanding history and contemporary society and culture, including art, music, social mores, oration, and public policy. (2) Familiarize students with the following: a. The contents of the Bible and religious history. b. The history of the Bible and religious history. c. The literary style and structure of the Bible. d. The influence of the Bible on law, history, government, literature, art, music, customs, morals, values, and cultures. (b) A teacher of a course offered pursuant to this act shall comply with applicable law and all federal and state guidelines regarding maintaining religious neutrality and accommodating the diverse religious views, traditions, and perspectives of students in the school. (c) A teacher of a course offered pursuant to this act may not endorse, favor, promote, disfavor, or show hostility toward any particular religion or nonreligious faith or religious perspective. (d) The State Board of Education, in complying with this section, may not violate the United States Constitution, federal law, the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, state law, or any administrative rule or regulation of the United States Department of Education or the State Board of Education. (e) A school principal may authorize the display of historic artifacts, monuments, symbols, and texts including, but not limited to, religious materials, if they are displayed in conjunction with a course of study that includes an elective course in history, civilization, ethics, comparative religion, literature, or other subject area that uses the artifacts, monuments, symbols, and texts as instructional material, as long as the display is appropriate to the overall educational purpose of the course. (f) The local board of education shall incur no liability and is immune from any liability exposure created by this act.
No teacher shall be required to teach any course under this section and, any provision of the law to the contrary to notwithstanding, no teacher shall be subject to any retaliation whatsoever for declining to teach such a course, including, but not limited to, non-renewal of contract, termination, transfer, reassignment, loss of extracurricular activity assignments, reassignment of planning period, or reduction of evaluation score.
The Attorney General shall defend any litigation filed against any local board of education in the state or any officer, employee, or agent thereof based upon the board's actions in implementing this act without cost to the local board of education. Should any local board of education be ordered to pay any fine, court cost, or attorneys' fees following such litigation, the Legislature shall appropriate funds for that purpose separate and apart from any other budget allocation.
This act shall become effective on the first day of the third month following its passage and approval by the Governor, or its otherwise becoming law. Senate Read for the first time and referred to the Senate committee on Education Policy..................... 0.5-MAR-19Read for the second time and placed on the calen- dar 2 amendments................................. 2.0-MAR-19Read for the third time and passed as amended .... 0.2-APR-19 Yeas 32 Nays Patrick Harris, Secretary.
|May 30, 2019||S||Assigned Act No. 2019-508.|
|May 30, 2019||S||Delivered to Governor at 5:58 p.m. on May 30, 2019|
|May 30, 2019||H||Signature Requested|
|May 30, 2019||S||Enrolled|
|May 30, 2019||H||Rafferty intended to vote Nay|
|May 30, 2019||S||Concurred in Conference Report|
|May 30, 2019||H||Ledbetter motion to Concur In and Adopt adopted Roll Call 1201|
|May 30, 2019||H||Conference Report concurrence requested|
|May 30, 2019||S||Marsh motion to Concur In and Adopt adopted Roll Call 1365|
|May 30, 2019||S||Conference Report|
|May 29, 2019||S||Conference Committee Appointed|
|May 28, 2019||H||Ledbetter motion to Accede adopted Roll Call 1096 House appoints Ledbetter, Rowe and Grimsley|
|May 28, 2019||H||Conference Committee Requested|
|May 28, 2019||S||Marsh motion to Non Concur and Appoint Conference Committee adopted Roll Call 1176 P&PO appoints Melson, Chesteen and Beasley|
|May 28, 2019||S||Concurrence Requested|
|May 23, 2019||H||Motion to Read a Third Time and Pass adopted Roll Call 935|
|May 23, 2019||H||Motion to Adopt adopted Roll Call 934|
|May 23, 2019||H||Allen Amendment Offered|
|May 23, 2019||H||Motion to Adopt adopted Roll Call 933|
|May 23, 2019||H||Drummond Amendment Offered|
|May 23, 2019||H||Third Reading Passed|
|May 15, 2019||H||Read for the second time and placed on the calendar|
|April 3, 2019||H||Read for the first time and referred to the House of Representatives committee on Education Policy|
|April 3, 2019||S||Engrossed|
|April 2, 2019||S||Motion to Read a Third Time and Pass adopted Roll Call 91|
|April 2, 2019||S||Smitherman motion to Adopt adopted Roll Call 90|
|April 2, 2019||S||Smitherman Amendment Offered|
|April 2, 2019||S||Third Reading Passed|
|March 21, 2019||S||Melson motion to Carry Over to the Call of the Chair adopted Voice Vote|
|March 21, 2019||S||Melson motion to Adopt adopted Roll Call 34|
|March 21, 2019||S||Melson motion to Adopt adopted Roll Call 33|
|March 21, 2019||S||Education Policy Amendment Offered|
|March 21, 2019||S||Education Policy Amendment Offered|
|March 21, 2019||S||Third Reading Carried Over to Call of the Chair|
|March 20, 2019||S||Read for the second time and placed on the calendar 2 amendments|
|March 5, 2019||S||Read for the first time and referred to the Senate committee on Education Policy|