ORLANDO, Fla. — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis detailed plans Tuesday morning on his push to increase civics education in schools across the state.
Earlier this year, DeSantis proposed $106 million in funding to increase civics education. Last month, he signed three bills to strengthen civic literacy in the state, from kindergarten through postsecondary public institutions.
The largest portion of that funding will be $65 million for the creation and implementation of the Florida Civics Seal of Excellence, a new professional credential for educators, DeSantis said. Every teacher who receives the seal will receive a $3,000 bonus from the state.
"It's not just for civics teachers," DeSantis said. "If you're teaching other subjects, not every one has a connection, but certainly some other subjects do have a connection where this could be important as a baseline."
The state is also slating $16.5 million for additional training, development and classroom support for educators and principals seeking to educate civics education in Florida schools, DeSantis said.
Other funding will include:
- $17.5 million to expedite new best standards
- $6.5 million to launch pilot program to partner schools and public service careers
"I think anytime people look at what is the baseline civic knowledge for people throughout American society but particularly for younger people, I think 100% of the time results come back and they're pretty doggone dismal," DeSantis said. "You'll have huge percentages of the population will not be able to identify the number of branches for the federal government. You'll have key mistakes about what period of history does Abraham Lincoln belong in, who were some of the main founding fathers, can you name some of the key ideas in the Bill of Rights."