Calif. rejects high school religion classes

Sacramento — The California Senate is rejecting legislation that would have allowed school districts to give high school credits to students who receive off-campus religious instruction.

Lawmakers voted 17-15 against SB1457 today.

Republican Sen. Mike Morrell of Rancho Cucamonga says religious instruction has a strong tradition in American education, and his bill would allow schools to support students’ spiritual needs.

The measure was strongly opposed by Democrats who say it would infringe on the separation of church and state.

California law allows a maximum of four absences per month for religious instruction. Morrell’s bill would have allowed them to use a class period for religious education and earn up to two elective credits.