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Bill allowing religious chaplains in public schools goes to Gov.'s desk for signing

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texas capitol building credit cbs austin.png
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A bill that would allow chaplains to be hired in public schools throughout Texas is now headed to Gov. Greg Abbott's desk for signing.

Senate Bill 763 was passed by the Texas House in an 84-60 vote on Wednesday.

If Gov. Abbott does sign the bill, public school districts will be given six months to vote on policies to either deny or allow unlicensed religious chaplains into their schools in a mental health role paid by using safety funds or by volunteering.

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The bill was approved after being delayed for a week when house members attempted to make an amendment to the bill that would require more accreditation for the chaplains.

That amendment ultimately failed.

Other amendments house democrats tried and failed to add to the bill include:

  • requiring chaplains to receive consent from parents of students,
  • making schools provide chaplains from any faith or denomination requested by students,
  • prohibiting any attempts to convert students from one religion/denomination to another

Throughout the legislative session, another faith based bill passed through the senate that would require public school classrooms to display the 10 commandments.

That bill, however, did not make it any further because it did not receive a passing vote from the Texas house.

The current legislative session ends on Monday and the next session doesn't begin until 2025.

Because Senate Bill 763 was passed less than 10 days prior to the final adjournment of the legislative session, Gov. Abbott has 20 days (including Sundays) after the final day of the session to either sign for veto the bill.

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