HBA-MPM, JEK C.S.H.B. 1776 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisC.S.H.B. 1776 By: Green Public Education 3/25/2001 Committee Report (Substituted) BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Studying the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution educates students about the principles behind the founding of this country. C.S.H.B. 1776 establishes the last week in September of each school year as Celebrate Freedom Week, and sets forth provisions regarding an in-depth study of the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution as well as the daily recitation of an excerpt from the Declaration of Independence. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. ANALYSIS C.S.H.B. 1776 amends the Education Code to require public schools to recognize the last full week of classes in September as Celebrate Freedom Week. The bill provides that Celebrate Freedom Week must include at least three hours of appropriate instruction, as determined by each school district, in each social studies class. The bill sets forth provision relating to the study of the Declaration of Independence and requires the instruction to include an in-depth study of the intent, meaning, and importance of the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution, including the Bill of Rights, in historical context. C.S.H.B. 1776 provides that a school district shall require its students in grade levels 3 through 12 to recite specific text from the Declaration of Independence at the beginning of each school day during Celebrate Freedom Week. The recitation requirement does not apply to any student who has a conscientious objection to the recitation or who is the child of a representative of a foreign government to whom the United States government extends diplomatic immunity. The bill requires a school district to excuse a student from the recitation on written request from the student's parent or guardian. EFFECTIVE DATE On passage, or if the Act does not receive the necessary vote, the Act takes effect September 1, 2001. This Act applies beginning with the 2001-2002 school year. COMPARISON OF ORIGINAL TO SUBSTITUTE C.S.H.B. 1776 differs from the original by recognizing the last full week of classes in September as Celebrate Freedom Week. The substitute only requires students in grade levels 3 through 12 rather than all students to recite an excerpt from the Declaration of Independence during Celebrate Freedom Week, rather than every school day. The substitute removes provisions from the original bill relating to requirements for the State Board of Education.