The Bible may soon be studied in public high schools in Arizona.
Gov. Jan Brewer signed a law requiring the Arizona Board of Education to design a new Bible curriculum that would examine the Bible and its role in Western culture.
It would be an elective course so schools would not be forced to teach it.
Republican Arizona State Rep. Terri Proud, the bill's sponsor, said the class will be helpful for students because references to the Bible are found everywhere.
Critics say a class that focuses on Christianity could be unconstitutional. But at least five other states have passed legislation similar to the new Arizona measure.
Public schools across the country have generally avoided Bible courses, but hundreds of them do offer such classes as electives.