On Tuesday, Ron DeSantis announced $106 million to establish the Civic Literacy Excellence Initiative.
The 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. 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.
“We have a responsibility to ensure our students are prepared to be great citizens,” said Ron 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.”
“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.”
Highlights of the Civic Literacy Excellence Initiative Include:
- $65 million for the creation and implementation of the Florida Civics Seal of Excellence – a new professional licensure endorsement for educators in civics education.
- A $3,000 bonus for educators who complete training and earn the Civics Seal of Excellence endorsement.
- $16.5 million for additional training, professional development and classroom support for educators and principals seeking to elevate civics education in Florida schools.
- Creation of regional civics coaches to provide support for teachers in building out civics programs.
- $17.5 million to bolster Florida’s civics curriculum and expedite the implementation of Florida’s B.E.S.T. Standards into Florida K-12 public schools.
- $6.5 million for a career pathway program to launch pilot programs for public service incubators to develop partnerships between secondary schools and government institutions, allowing students to explore government and public administration and inspire the next generation of leaders in Florida.
In June, DeSantis signed legislation to expanding civics legislation.
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. Phase Two begins in the 2021-2022 school year, adding 102 more schools to the initiative, for a total of 161 schools in 48 districts.