A bill introduced in the Texas House could require schools to teach students positive character traits like honesty, kindness and school pride.
House Bill 729 was introduced by Republican Rep. Dwayne Bohac of Houston. Bohac said half of Texas' school districts already have some sort of character program.
The Texas Education Agency and Legislative Budget Board told the Austin American-Statesman the price tag for school districts and public charter schools statewide would be an estimated $25 million for the next school year and $4 million the following year. The money would go to training teachers and implementing the program.
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Bohac believes teaching positive character traits will help attendance and academic achievement go up, while bringing down disciplinary and behavioral problems.
"The science of why children succeed tells us that it's parent engagement and character skills that matter the most,” Bohac told the Statesman.
Bohac believe parents have the most important role in character development, but schools must be involved too.
Teaching positive character traits is already required by the Texas Education Code, but Bohac's bill would integrate it into the state curriculum. School districts would then have to report the program's impact on student absences, academics and disciplinary problems to the TEA each year.
More: Austin Statesman