DeSantis launches civics initiative, touts $3,000 bonuses to teachers who complete program

by | Jul 13, 2021

Governor Ron DeSantis is doubling down on his civics education investment in the state of Florida.

The Governor announced the $106 million Civic Literacy Excellence Initiative on Tuesday during a press conference at BridgePrep Academy of Orange in Orlando. DeSantis noted that the additional funding will be used to create and award qualified teachers with the Florida Civics Seal of Excellence, which includes a $3,000 bonus for educators who complete training to earn the endorsement.

“We have a responsibility to ensure our students are prepared to be great citizens,” said DeSantis. “That is why we created a new civics curriculum in Florida and are making this important investment of more than $106 million. By July 4, 2026, our country’s 250th anniversary, we will make sure every K-12 student in Florida is educated with our new civics curriculum.”

The funding will also be used for Florida’s civics curriculum and to expedite the implementation of Florida’s B.E.S.T. Standards in Florida’s K-12 public schools.

“Through Governor DeSantis’ bold leadership, Florida is a national model for high quality civics education that benefits both students and educators,” said Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran. “The Florida Civics and Debate Initiative has been a massive success, with 161 schools from 48 districts and more than 5,500 students expected to participate in the 2021-2022 school year. The new Civics Literacy Excellence Initiative also compliments recent legislation that strengthens Florida’s commitment to every child receiving a world class civics education that prepares them to be great citizens who will lead successful lives.”

In January 2020, DeSantis announced the Florida Civics and Debate Initiative (FCDI) with The Marcus Foundation to elevate civic knowledge, civic skills and civics disposition for middle and high school students, and funded with $5 million from the Marcus Foundation. Phase One brought 59 schools in 30 school districts into the program, with more than 2,000 students participating in 24 virtual tournaments. Educators also received targeted coaching and professional development to help increase their knowledge and guide their instruction of Florida’s revised civics standards.

DeSantis added that Phase Two will begin in the 2021-2022 school year, adding 102 more schools to the initiative, for a total of 161 schools in 48 districts.

In June, DeSantis signed legislation to strengthen civics instruction and civics literacy education in Florida’s kindergarten through postsecondary public schools. The Governor has stated that he wants the Sunshine State to be the “number-one state for civic literacy.”

1 Comment

  1. Calhoun

    Why has it taken him three years to do this?
    Duh, he is running for re-elelction, so let’s go ahead and pander…
    $3,000 upon training? Wow! How nice, Ronny! Maybe a teacher can fit in time for the training in between the second and third jobs they have to take to pay their bills.
    FLORIDA RANKS #49 in the ENTIRE NATION for its EDUCATION. It is awful. If I ever had children, I would move. Whether it be public, private, or charter, I would never bring my child up in a state with such awful curriculums, teachers who are held to unrealistic standards to teach the bare minimum for a student to prepare all year for a test that is dependent upon whether or not they go on to graduate or proceed forward to the next grade level. The tests are an incentive for a child, which I have taken in Ohio all of my life and agree with, though our Governor does not support standardized testing. Most of the GOP does. True, students are more than test scores, but where is the accountability. I am all for standardized testing, but it should not be a determinative factor on a child and whether or not they are able to proceed forward to a next grade level or graduate. My only issue with standardized testing, in this state, especially, is the fact that these tests allow very little wiggle room for our teachers, whom Ronny has slapped in the face time an time again with his policies in the state legislature, to create curriculums that nurture the minds of children in a multitude of ways in their very important early childhood development years.
    Wow! $3,000!!! Maybe now teachers won’t have to spend so much money out of their own pockets for school supplies and necessitates needed to teach.

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