By Delisi                                              H.B. No. 911
         77R4530 CAS-D                           
                                A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 1-1                                   AN ACT
 1-2     relating to character education programs in public schools.
 1-4           SECTION 1.  Subchapter Z, Chapter 29, Education Code, is
 1-5     amended by adding Section 29.903 to read as follows:
 1-6           Sec. 29.903.  CHARACTER EDUCATION PROGRAM.  (a)  Each school
 1-7     district is encouraged to implement in district schools a
 1-8     comprehensive character education program.
 1-9           (b)  A character education program under this section must:
1-10                 (1)  be secular;
1-11                 (2)  stress positive character traits such as good
1-12     citizenship, honesty, responsibility, respect, patience, and
1-13     initiative;
1-14                 (3)  be taught for the entire school year;
1-15                 (4)  provide at least one hour of instruction each
1-16     week; and
1-17                 (5)  provide a curriculum that includes:
1-18                       (A)  definitions of positive character traits;
1-19                       (B)  examples of positive character traits;
1-20                       (C)  application of positive character traits in
1-21     the classroom through activities and projects; and
1-22                       (D)  praise to commend students who demonstrate
1-23     positive character traits.
1-24           (c)  A district that implements a character education program
 2-1     under this section shall, to the greatest extent practicable,
 2-2     incorporate the positive character traits emphasized in the program
 2-3     into the district's regular curriculum.
 2-4           (d)  A district may offer the character education program at
 2-5     one or more grade levels.
 2-6           SECTION 2.  Section 39.092(a), Education Code, is amended to
 2-7     read as follows:
 2-8           (a)  The governor may present a financial award to the
 2-9     schools or districts that the commissioner determines have
2-10     demonstrated the highest levels of sustained success or the
2-11     greatest improvement in achieving the education goals or to the
2-12     districts that have implemented a comprehensive character education
2-13     program that  satisfies the requirements prescribed by Section
2-14     29.903.  For each student in average daily attendance, each of
2-15     those schools or districts is entitled to an amount set for the
2-16     award for which the  school or district is selected by the
2-17     commissioner, subject to any limitation set by the commissioner on
2-18     the total amount that may be awarded to a school or district.
2-19           SECTION 3.  This Act applies beginning with the 2001-2002
2-20     school year.
2-21           SECTION 4.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
2-22     a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
2-23     provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  If this
2-24     Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
2-25     Act takes effect September 1, 2001.