By Green                                              H.B. No. 1776
         Line and page numbers may not match official copy.
         Bill not drafted by TLC or Senate E&E.
                                A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 1-1                                   AN ACT
 1-2     relating to recitation of the Declaration of Independence by public
 1-3     school students.
 1-5           SECTION 1.   Subchapter C, Chapter 25, Education Code, is
 1-6     amended by adding Section 25.0821 to read as follows:
 1-8     (a)  A school district shall require the students to recite the
 1-9     text quoted below from the Declaration of Independence of the
1-10     United States at the beginning of each school day:
1-11           We hold these Truths to be self-evident; that all Men
1-12           are created equal, that they are endowed by their
1-13           Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among
1-14           these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness -
1-15           That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted
1-16           among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent
1-17           of the Governed...
1-18           (b)  The State Board of Education shall establish an
1-19     appropriate curriculum that includes the meaning and importance of
1-20     this statement in its eighteenth century context, including the
1-21     relationship of its ideas to the American Revolution, the
1-22     formulation of the American Constitution and subsequent American
 2-1     history, such as the basis of the abolitionist movement that
 2-2     resulted in the Emancipation Proclamation and the women's suffrage
 2-3     movement.
 2-4           (c)  The State Board of Education shall determine the
 2-5     appropriate means of implementing this act.  This act shall not
 2-6     apply to any pupil who has conscientious scruples against the
 2-7     recitation required by this act or who is the child of an
 2-8     unaccredited representative of a foreign government to whom the
 2-9     United States government extends diplomatic immunity.  On written
2-10     request from a student's parent or guardian, a school district
2-11     shall excuse the student from reciting the Declaration of
2-12     Independence.
2-13           SECTION 2. This Act applies beginning with the 2001-2002
2-14     school year.
2-15           SECTION 3. This Act takes effect immediately if it receives a
2-16     vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
2-17     provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  If this
2-18     Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
2-19     Act takes effect September 1, 2001.