Sometimes being an advocate of Life, Family, and Liberty in California is frustrating, but today we have some very exciting news. CFA-endorsed SB 1457 has PASSED out of the State Senate Education Committee on a 5-4 vote, including support from three Democrats on the committee!
If you missed our podcast episode on SB 1457, this bill from Senator Mike Morrell (R-Rancho Cucamonga) would permit Released Time religious education courses within California public high schools. This commonsense measure simply allows religious organizations to host courses of religious instruction for public high school students off campus, and for those courses to apply towards the students’ graduation as elective credit. The credits would be accepted in a fashion similar to how public schools accept credits from transfer students who took religion courses at their prior, private, religious school. The program is vetted by the Supreme Court as compatible with the First Amendment’s non-establishment clause, and has been adopted in a number of school districts in Southern California.
We are exceedingly grateful for the support this bill has received. California Family Council and California Family Alliance were proud to be involved in the efforts to educate the public and to encourage grassroots support. SB 1457’s passage shows how respectful, intelligent, and persistent advocacy can change the minds of even those legislators who commonly oppose our positions.
SB 1457 now advances to the floor of the California Senate for a vote. If it passes the State Senate, it will go on to the California State Assembly, where the bill also enjoys bipartisan support. If it passes both the Senate and the Assembly, it will land on Governor Brown’s desk, where we hope he will sign it in to law.
CFC is privileged to stand for Religious Liberty in Sacramento, but we need your help! Please consider supporting our ongoing work through a financial gift. If you can’t give today, please keep us in your prayers. God is still working here in the Golden State!