BOISE -- The Idaho Senate on Monday approved legislation to "expressly permit" using the Bible for academic study in public schools, even though state law already permits using the Bible for academic purposes.
Republican Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll, of Cottonwood, says Senate Bill 1342 would clarify any misconceptions in current code by overtly allowing the religious text in the classroom.
The legislation says the Bible can be used for reference purposes in subjects like literature, history, music and world geography in public schools.
The bill was met with opposition from some Senate Democratic members who argue the bill increases division between religious groups.
Democratic Sen. Grant Burgoyne, of Boise, says the bill gives the Bible an elevated status over other religious texts.
The measure passed 34-3 and now heads to the House.