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COLUMBUS Resolution backs character programs



Published: Thu, January 31, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



State funding for character education was slashed in the budget.

By JEFF ORTEGA

VINDICATOR CORRESPONDENT

COLUMBUS -- "Character" development programs for youths and others would be encouraged in Ohio under a resolution approved in the Ohio House Tuesday.

State representatives voted 96 to 0 to approve the resolution sponsored by state Rep. Twyla Roman, R-Akron.

"Character is the inward motivation to do what is right," said Roman, whose House district includes a part of Portage County. "Character is individual, but has far reaching societal implications."

Under the resolution, which now moves to the Senate, Ohio would be designated a "State of Character." Citizens and civil leaders would be urged to promote good character and schools, businesses and the government would be encouraged to back character development programs.

Roman's resolution also called on Congress to support federal legislation that would promote character education programs.

Funding slashed: State funding for character education was slashed in the state's two-year, $45 billion budget adopted last summer.

Gov. Bob Taft proposed spending $2.1 million during the two-year period for character education programs. But the request was cut in the House, restored in the Senate and then cut again in the conference committee that ironed out different versions of the state spending plan last year. More and more states are embarking on promoting character education, said Andrea Grenadier, a spokeswoman for Character Education Partnership, a Washington, D.C.-based, nonprofit organization that studies character education issues.

Grenadier said there are 13 states that mandate character education through legislation. She said there are 12 states that encourage character education.

At the federal level, the U.S. Department of Education is making available $25 million for character education pilot projects, she said.

States will have to apply for the money, which could be used for teacher training, consultants and other purposes, Grenadier said. Grant applications are expected to be available in the next month, she said.




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