ORANGE PARK, FLORIDA — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis highlighted Florida’s continued commitment to expanding civics education in Florida schools. Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. and the governor announced the first 4,500 teachers that have completed the Civics Seal of Excellence endorsement course. Each teacher will receive a $3,000 bonus for completing the course.
“The US has had a civics education crisis for many years, so Florida has stepped up for our students,” said Governor DeSantis. “Boosting civics education and engaging our students is the best way to preserve the constitutional foundations that our country was built upon.”
DeSantis prioritized civics education throughout his first term. In 2020, the governor established the Florida Civics and Debate Initiative for students to learn about history and compete with their peers. By the end of the 2023 school year, Florida aims to have the civics initiative available to every student in the state.
The Civics Seal of Excellence is a 50-hour endorsement program available to Florida teachers as part of Florida’s Civic Literacy Excellence Initiative. Enrollment for the course is at capacity with 20,000 teachers making a commitment to civics in education. An additional 14,000 teachers are on the waiting list for this first-of-a-kind professional development program with a bonus incentive.
“These $3,000 bonuses provide a strong incentive for Florida teachers to put in the time necessary to take our civics course and earn the Civics Seal of Excellence,” said DeSantis.
Additionally, under Florida’s Civic Literacy Excellence Initiative, the Governor awarded $6.5 million to Polk State College, Broward College and Florida State College at Jacksonville to establish civics academies in partnership with local school districts. One thousand students will learn about the importance of public trust, government efficiency, and the values of our state in the academies starting this August.
“A robust civics education is necessary for students to become upstanding citizens,” said Florida Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz, Jr. “No state has made a more comprehensive effort to prepare its teaching workforce for civics excellence than Florida, and that’s a testament to Governor DeSantis’ leadership. The Civics Seal of Excellence Endorsement will greatly benefit our educators, students, state and country.”