Session of 2000
By Representatives Garner, Barnes, Flaharty and Ruff

  9             AN  ACT concerning school districts; providing for a character education
10             grant program.
12       Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Kansas:
13             Section  1. As used in this act:
14             (a) "Board" means the board of education of any school district.
15             (b) "School district" means any school district organized and oper-
16       ating under the laws of this state.
17             (c) "Character education grant program" means a program under
18       which the state, for the purpose of enhancing the quality of education
19       through maintenance of a safe and orderly school environment in which
20       pupils are enabled to maximize academic achievement and attain higher
21       levels of social and civic involvement, provides assistance through the
22       award of grants of state moneys to school districts that design, implement
23       and maintain character education programs that incorporate the elements
24       of caring, civic virtue and citizenship, justice and fairness, respect, re-
25       sponsibility and trustworthiness.
26             (d) "State board" means the state board of education.
27             Sec.  2. (a) The board of every school district may: (1) Design, im-
28       plement and maintain a character education program that encompasses
29       such measures as community and parental consensus and involvement,
30       creation of a school climate that enhances character development, and
31       integration of character and ethical values elements throughout the cur-
32       riculum; and (2) apply for a grant of state moneys to supplement amounts
33       expended by the school district for implementation and maintenance of
34       a character education program.
35             (b) To be eligible to receive a grant of state moneys for the imple-
36       mentation and maintenance of a character education program, a board
37       shall submit to the state board an application for a grant and a description
38       of the program. The application and description shall be prepared in such
39       form and manner as the state board shall require and shall be submitted
40       at a time to be determined and specified by the state board. Approval by
41       the state board of the program and the application is prerequisite to the
42       award of a grant.
43             (c) Each board which is awarded a grant under this act shall make


  1       such periodic and special reports of statistical and financial information
  2       to the state board as it may request.
  3             Sec.  3. (a) The state board shall adopt rules and regulations for the
  4       administration of this act and shall:
  5             (1) Establish standards and criteria for reviewing, evaluating and ap-
  6       proving character education programs and applications of school districts
  7       for grants;
  8             (2) conduct a needs-assessment survey of school districts applying for
  9       grants;
10             (3) evaluate and approve character education programs;
11             (4) establish priorities in accordance with the findings of the needs-
12       assessment survey for the award of grants to school districts and for de-
13       termination of the amount of such grants;
14             (5) be responsible for awarding grants to school districts; and
15             (6) request of and receive from each school district which is awarded
16       a grant for implementation and maintenance of a character education
17       program reports containing information with regard to the effectiveness
18       of the program.
19             (b) In evaluating and approving character education programs for the
20       award of grants to school districts, the state board shall consider:
21             (1) Prior experiences of school districts in the development and op-
22       eration of character education programs;
23             (2) level of effort exhibited by school districts in soliciting, building
24       and sustaining community and family involvement in the implementation
25       and maintenance of character education programs;
26             (3) aggressiveness of the school district in seeking input from parents,
27       representatives of child service agencies, civic groups, the faith commu-
28       nity, the business community and others;
29             (4) endeavors of the school district to improve the climate for learning
30       and character development through such elements as leadership from the
31       principal, teachers and other school personnel that reflects the academic,
32       social and ethical emphases of the character education program, school-
33       wide discipline that promotes and upholds the character traits of the
34       community, a schoolwide sense of community that fosters pride in the
35       school, an atmosphere of mutual respect, fairness and cooperation that
36       pervades all school relationships;
37             (5) integrality of character elements across the curriculum; and
38             (6) the potential effectiveness of the character education program in
39       reducing discipline problems, improving pupil academic success, increas-
40       ing participation in extracurricular activities, increasing attendance rates
41       and decreasing dropout rates.
42             Sec.  4. In each school year, to the extent that appropriations are
43       available, each school district which is participating in the character ed-


  1       ucation grant program through maintenance of an approved character
  2       education program shall be eligible to receive a grant of state moneys.
  3       The amount of the grant to a school district shall be determined by the
  4       state board in accordance with established funding priorities, but in no
  5       event shall the amount of a grant exceed the amount of the actual ex-
  6       penses incurred by the school district in maintaining its program. Upon
  7       receipt of a grant of state moneys for maintenance of a character edu-
  8       cation program, the amount of the grant shall be deposited in the general
  9       fund of the school district. Moneys deposited in the general fund of a
10       school district under this section shall be considered reimbursements for
11       the purposes of the school district finance and quality performance act.
12             Sec.  5.  The state board may provide any board, upon its request
13       therefor, with technical advice and assistance regarding the implemen-
14       tation and maintenance of a character education program or an applica-
15       tion for a grant of state moneys, and may make studies and gather and
16       disseminate information regarding materials, resources, procedures, pro-
17       grams and personnel which are or may become available to assist school
18       district participation in the character education grant program. 
19        Sec.  6. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its
20       publication in the statute book.