Bible Classes in Georgia Public Schools

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Two classes may never have sparked a debate like this one. The Legislature approved classes that study the Old and New Testament last year, and now they are on the verge of being added to Georgia's public school curriculum.

The Georgia Board of Education voted to add Literature and History of the Old and New Testament Era to the state's curriculum. Now it will be up to individual school boards to decide whether or not it will offer the classes during the 2007-2008 school year.

Steve Wooten, Superintendent of Grady County Schools, commented, "We have some questions about the whole process, so we'd like some other school systems to actually experiment with it, find out what works, what doesn't work and then we'll take it from there."

Wooten says Grady County Schools will not offer the courses next year but have not ruled out the curriculum indefinitely. He'd like to see how other schools are tackling the classes before bringing it to Grady County.

Dr. Jean Quigg, the Assistant Superintendent of Thomas County Schools, added, "We do want to take an opportunity to review exactly what the curriculum requirements are and to really survey our students and make sure there is an interest in that."

Dr. Quigg says Thomas County Central will take the next school year to research that interest. And if it's there, proceed with the curriculum.

Quigg added, "We have to make sure that we're meeting the state guidelines that we have been given for this class. As opposed to just jumping in, offering something and it not being what it should be. We want to make sure we have all of our bases covered."

The two courses still need final approval from the State Board of Education, which is expected within the next thirty days. If approved, individual school boards will have final say on offering the courses.