Governor Ron DeSantis announced an initiative on Wednesday that would provide ‘high-quality’ civics education to students and reward teachers who participate in advancing the subject.
At a press conference held at North Collier Regional Park in Naples, DeSantis outlined his Civics Literacy Excellence Initiative aimed at bolstering civics education to “make Florida the national leader in civics education.” Under the Governor’s proposal, $106 million in pandemic-related funding issued by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) would be allocated to elevate civics literacy and education in public schools.
“Our schools are supposed to give people a foundation of knowledge, not supposed to be indoctrination centers, where you’re trying to push specific ideologies,” DeSantis said.
The move would also reward teachers who earn credentials in the topic. An additional $16.5 million from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) would be dedicated to training and teachers and school principals who focus on civics learning. Those who complete the training will be eligible to receive a $3,000 bonus.
“The money is there, we need to figure out the best way to use it,” DeSantis continued.
I’m excited to announce the Civic Literacy Excellence Initiative that will provide high-quality civics education to Florida’s students and reward educators who choose to participate in advancing civics education in their classrooms. pic.twitter.com/B1Gy1DrqTj
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) March 17, 2021
During his announcement, DeSantis also took aim at critical race theory, which seeks to label American institutions as racist, stating that they will not be a part of the curriculum.
“Florida’s civics curriculum will incorporate foundational concepts with the best materials and it will expressly exclude unsanctioned narratives like critical race theory and other unsubstantiated theories,” DeSantis said. “Let me be clear, there’s no room in our classrooms for things like critical race theory, teaching kids to hate their country and to hate each other is not worth one red cent of taxpayer money.”
DeSantis said he is encouraging the legislature to move forward with his proposal during this year’s Legislative Session.
The Capitolist reached out to the Florida Education Association (FEA) for comment but did not receive a response.