Bill Text: TX HB729 | 2017-2018 | 85th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to instruction in positive character traits in public schools.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2017-03-14 - Left pending in committee [HB729 Detail]

Download: Texas-2017-HB729-Introduced.html
  85R4341 MK-D
 
  By: Bohac H.B. No. 729
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to instruction in positive character traits in public
  schools.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 29.906, Education Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 29.906.  CHARACTER TRAITS INSTRUCTION [EDUCATION
  PROGRAM]. (a)  The State Board of Education shall integrate
  positive character traits into the essential knowledge and skills
  adopted for kindergarten through grade 12, as appropriate [A school
  district may provide a character education program].
         (b)  The State Board of Education must include the following
  [A character education program under this section must:
               [(1)  stress] positive character traits [, such as]:
               (1) [(A)]  courage;
               (2) [(B)]  trustworthiness, including honesty,
  reliability, punctuality, and loyalty;
               (3) [(C)]  integrity;
               (4) [(D)]  respect and courtesy;
               (5) [(E)]  responsibility, including accountability,
  diligence, perseverance, and self-control;
               (6) [(F)]  fairness, including justice and freedom
  from prejudice;
               (7) [(G)]  caring, including kindness, empathy,
  compassion, consideration, patience, generosity, and charity;
               (8) [(H)]  good citizenship, including patriotism,
  concern for the common good and the community, and respect for
  authority and the law; [and]
               (9) [(I)]  school pride; and
               (10)  gratitude[;
               [(2)  use integrated teaching strategies; and
               [(3)  be age appropriate].
         (c)  The State Board of Education shall create a report that
  identifies the manner in which the character traits listed under
  Subsection (b) have been integrated into the curriculum.  The board
  shall make the report publicly available on the board's Internet
  website.
         (d)  Each school district and open-enrollment charter school
  must adopt a character education program that includes the positive
  character traits listed in Subsection (b).  The district or
  open-enrollment charter school shall submit the adopted program to
  the agency annually, in a manner determined by the commissioner.
         (e)  In developing or selecting a character education
  program under this section, a school district shall consult with a
  committee selected by the district that consists of:
               (1)  parents of district students;
               (2)  educators; and
               (3)  other members of the community, including
  community leaders.
         (f) [(d)]  This section does not require or authorize
  proselytizing or indoctrinating concerning any specific religious
  or political belief.
         (g) [(e)]  The agency shall:
               (1)  maintain a list of character education programs
  that school districts have implemented that meet the criteria under
  Subsection (b); and
               (2)  using the services of a center for education
  research established under Section 1.005, and based on data
  reported by districts, annually designate as a Character Plus
  School each school that provides a character education program
  that:
                     (A)  meets the criteria prescribed by Subsection
  (b); [and]
                     (B)  is approved by the committee selected under
  Subsection (e) [(c)]; and
                     (C)  demonstrates a correlation between the
  character education program adopted by the school, an increase in
  student attendance levels, and a decrease in student disciplinary
  problems [(3)  include in the report required under Section 39.332:
                     [(A)     based on data reported by districts, the
  impact of character education programs on student discipline and
  academic achievement; and
                     [(B)     other reported data relating to character
  education programs the agency considers appropriate for
  inclusion].
         (h) [(f)]  The agency may accept money from [federal
  government and] private sources to use in assisting school
  districts in implementing character education programs that meet
  the criteria prescribed by Subsection (b).
         (i)  The State Board of Education may adopt rules as
  necessary to implement this section.
         SECTION 2.  This Act applies beginning with the 2017-2018
  school year.
         SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
  a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
  provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  If this
  Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
  Act takes effect September 1, 2017.
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