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)  A school
 1-7     district may provide a character education program.
 1-8           (b)  A character education program under this section must:
 1-9                 (1)  stress positive character traits, such as:
1-10                       (A)  courage;
1-11                       (B)  trustworthiness, including honesty,
1-12     reliability, punctuality, and loyalty;
1-13                       (C)  integrity;
1-14                       (D)  respect and courtesy;
1-15                       (E)  responsibility, including accountability,
1-16     diligence, perseverance, and self-control;
1-17                       (F)  fairness, including justice and freedom from
1-18     prejudice;
1-19                       (G)  caring, including kindness, empathy,
1-20     compassion, consideration, patience, generosity, and charity;
1-21                       (H)  good citizenship, including patriotism,
1-22     concern for the common good and the community, and respect for
1-23     authority and the law; and
1-24                       (I)  school pride;
 2-1                 (2)  use integrated teaching strategies; and
 2-2                 (3)  be age appropriate.
 2-3           (c)  In developing or selecting a character education program
 2-4     under this section, a school district shall consult with a
 2-5     committee selected by the district that consists of:
 2-6                 (1)  parents of district students;
 2-7                 (2)  educators; and
 2-8                 (3)  other members of the community, including
 2-9     community leaders.
2-10           (d)  This section does not require or authorize proselytizing
2-11     or indoctrinating concerning any specific religious or political
2-12     belief.
2-13           (e)  The agency shall:
2-14                 (1)  maintain a list of character education programs
2-15     that school districts have implemented that meet the criteria under
2-16     Subsection (b);
2-17                 (2)  based on data reported by districts, annually
2-18     designate as a Character Plus School each school that provides a
2-19     character education program that:
2-20                       (A)  meets the criteria prescribed by Subsection
2-21     (b); and
2-22                       (B)  is approved by the committee selected under
2-23     Subsection (c); and
2-24                 (3)  include in the report required under Section
2-25     39.182:
2-26                       (A)  based on data reported by districts, the
2-27     impact of character education programs on student discipline and
 3-1     academic achievement; and
 3-2                       (B)  other reported data relating to character
 3-3     education programs the agency considers appropriate for inclusion.
 3-4           (f)  The agency may accept money from federal government and
 3-5     private sources to use in assisting school districts in
 3-6     implementing character education programs that meet the criteria
 3-7     prescribed by Subsection (b).
 3-8           SECTION 2.  This Act applies beginning with the 2001-2002
 3-9     school year.
3-10           SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
3-11     a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
3-12     provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  If this
3-13     Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
3-14     Act takes effect September 1, 2001.
         _______________________________     _______________________________
             President of the Senate              Speaker of the House
               I certify that H.B. No. 946 was passed by the House on April
         3, 2001, by the following vote:  Yeas 147, Nays 0, 1 present, not
                                                 Chief Clerk of the House
               I certify that H.B. No. 946 was passed by the Senate on May
         17, 2001, by the following vote:  Yeas 30, Nays 0, 1 present, not
                                                 Secretary of the Senate
         APPROVED:  __________________________