Ed Board poses new rule on religion in preschool

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The Arkansas Education Board has opened for public comment a proposed rule on allowing extracurricular teaching of religion in preschools.

The proposal before the board on Monday was written by the Arkansas Department of Human Services. The rule would ban teaching of religion during the seven-hour school day of pre-schools that receive government funding.

Education Board Chairman Ben Mays questioned whether allowing the teachings was constitutional, considering the schools wouldn't exist if it weren't for government funding.

The Education Board didn't take a stand on the issue, and its vote only set the proposal out for the public to comment.

A pre-school, Growing God's Kingdom, owned by state Rep. Justin Harris, has drawn criticism for accepting state funding and teaching religion. The Republican from West Fork has defended the practice.

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