State of Arizona
First Regular Session
SENATE BILL 1053
amending section 15‑719, Arizona Revised Statutes; relating to character education.
(TEXT OF BILL BEGINS ON NEXT PAGE)
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Arizona:
Section 1. Section 15-719, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:
15-719. Character education program instruction; fund
A. Each common, high and unified school district and charter school may provide instruction to kindergarten programs through the twelfth grade on character development.
B. Each district may develop its own course of study for each grade. At a minimum, the character education program must include:
1. Instruction in the definition and application of at least six of the following character traits: truthfulness, responsibility, compassion, diligence, sincerity, trustworthiness, respect, attentiveness, obedience, orderliness, forgiveness, virtue, fairness, caring, citizenship and integrity.
2. The use of activities, discussions and visual media and literacy presentations to illustrate and reinforce the application of the character traits.
3. Presentations by teachers or mentors who demonstrate the character traits.
C. At the request of the school district or charter school, the department of education may certify that the school district or charter school has a character development instruction program that meets all of the requirements in subsection B of this section.
D. Parents may elect for their child not to participate in the program.
E. The school district or charter school may accept donations or charge fees for the program if the program is not offered during regular school hours.
F. A character education special plate fund is established consisting of monies received pursuant to section 28‑2421. The department of education shall administer the fund. Not more than ten per cent of monies deposited in the fund annually shall be used for the cost of administering the fund. Monies in the fund are continuously appropriated. Monies from the fund shall be annually distributed by the department by July 1.
G. The character education and development division at the department of education shall allocate monies through at least two but no more than four private character education foundations that are incorporated nonprofit corporations in this state and that are qualified under section 501(c)(3) of the United States internal revenue code for federal income tax purposes. The director of the character education and development division at the department of education shall select private character education foundations that provide character education programs that demonstrate proven and effective research based curriculum and training to receive monies from the character education special plate fund.
H. On notice from the department of education, the state treasurer shall invest and divest monies in the fund as provided by section 35‑313, and monies earned from investment shall be credited to the fund.
I. Monies in the fund are exempt from the provisions of section 35‑190 relating to lapsing of appropriations.