CHARLESTON — The Senate Education Committee hotly debated but failed to vote on a bill to permit high schools to offer an elective Bible class.

The committee took up SB 252 on Tuesday, the second day of its deliberations. The committee was clearly divided during the course of the hour and was in the process of closing comments when time ran out and Sen. Charles Trump, R-Morgan, moved to adjourn.

Motions to adjourn are not debatable and the vote to adjourn was overwhelming, but not quite unanimous.

As it originated, the bill required all public, private, parochial and denominational schools to offer an elective Social Studies course on either the Old Testament, the New Testament or both testaments.

A committee substitute limits to bill to public schools and makes it optional — not mandatory — for schools to offer the course.