Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 946
By: Telford
Public Education


Texas public schools provide an excellent opportunity to teach character
education and civic responsibility to children and adolescents.  The
widespread implementation of character education programs may help reduce
disciplinary  problems, improve the learning environment, and promote
student achievement  without proselytizing or indoctrinating the students
concerning any specific religious or political belief.  To be effective,
character education programs must incorporate ideas from the community.
House Bill 946 authorizes and encourages school districts to implement
character education programs after consulting with a committee consisting
of educators, parents, and other community members.    


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. 


House Bill 946 amends the Education Code to authorize school districts to
establish a character education program in public schools that emphasizes
positive character traits, uses integrated teaching strategies, and is age
appropriate.  The bill requires a district that decides to establish a
character education program to consult with a character education program
committee consisting of educators, parents, and other members of the
community.  The bill does not require or authorize proselytizing or
indoctrinating students concerning any specific  religious or political

The bill requires the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to maintain a list of
character education programs that school districts have implemented.  The
bill requires TEA, based on data annually reported by districts, to
designate each school that provides a character education program that
meets specified criteria as a Character Plus School.  The bill requires TEA
to include the  impact on student discipline, academic achievement, and
other appropriate data in its comprehensive biennial report.   
H.B. 946 authorizes TEA to accept money from the federal government and
private sources to use in assisting school districts in implementing
character education programs that meet the provisions of this bill. 


June 11, 2001. This Act applies beginning with the 2001-2002 school year.