PHOENIX - A bill to allow public high schools in Arizona to offer an elective high school course on the Bible and its role in Western culture is now Arizona law.
Gov. Jan Brewer on Tuesday signed legislation requiring the state Board of Education to design a curriculum for schools to teach if they choose.
Rep. Terri Proud, a Tucson Republican who sponsored the legislation, says a class like this is necessary because references to the Bible are found everywhere.
Public schools across the country have generally avoided Bible courses, but hundreds offer such classes as electives.
At least five other states have passed legislation similar to the Arizona proposal.
Critics say a class that focuses on Christianity could be unconstitutional.