A sign directs the way to the chaplain’s office at the Florida House of Representatives in Tallahassee.
Credit: Brendan Farrington / AP

Lawmakers in mostly conservative states are pushing a coordinated effort to bring chaplains into public schools, aided by a new, legislation-crafting network that aims to address policy issues “from a biblical world view” and by a consortium whose promotional materials saychaplains are a way to convert millions to Christianity.

The bills have been introduced this legislative season in 14 states, inspired by Texas, which passed a law last year allowing school districts to hire chaplains or use them as volunteers for whatever role the local school board sees fit, including replacing trained counselors. Chaplain bills were approved by one legislative chamber in three states — Utah, Indiana and Louisiana — but died in Utah and Indiana. Bills are pendingin nine states. Onepassed both houses of Florida’s legislature and is awaiting the governor’s signature.

The bills are mushrooming in an era when the U.S. Supreme Court has expanded the rights of religious people and groups in the public square and weakened historicprotections meant to keep the government from endorsing religion. In a 2022 case, […]

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