Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis’ efforts to turn his state into a liberty-loving, freedom-minded, America-first example for the rest of the country to follow got a huge boost earlier this week.
On Monday, the governor announced a $106 million initiative establishing the Civic Literacy Excellence Initiative, which “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,” according to a statement from his office.
In addition, the funding will also be used for Florida’s civics curriculum and to speed up the implementation of Florida’s B.E.S.T. Standards in Florida’s K-12 public schools, the statement noted.
“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.”
Civics — the study of the theoretical, political, and practical aspects of citizenship, as well as its rights and duties, and how our government was designed by our founders to work — have slowly been taken out of junior high and high school education curriculum around the country at the bidding of the left-wing teacher’s unions. The left has shunned such education because informed American citizens can more easily spot and call out unconstitutional actions taken by lawmakers and our government — especially Democrats.
DeSantis and a growing number of conservative leaders are pushing to reintroduce civics courses to young students so they can develop an understanding our governing system and thus be better prepared to protect, defend, and uphold it.
“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,” Corcoran continued.
“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,” he added.
Needless to say, many teachers — most of whom are beholden to their left-wing unions — are blasting the effort, claiming that DeSantis’ initiative is really more about pushing a “Christian fundamentalist” worldview, the Tallahassee Democrat reports:
Teachers who went through the civics training this month told the Miami Herald that it “was very skewed” and sought to “propagandize particular points of view.”
A slide used by the trainers say it is a “misconception” that “The founders desired strict separation of church and state.” Teachers also took issue with how the trainers framed the history of slavery in the United States and how they emphasized a conservative legal theory for interpreting the U.S. Constitution.
The teacher training program was developed with input from groups such as Hillsdale College, a private Christian school.
“There was this Christian nationalism philosophy that was just baked into everything that was there,” Nova High School social studies teacher Richard Judd told the Herald.
By comparison, Democrat-voting teachers don’t want civics education to be about students learning how our founders intended our system to function; they want to use civics as a vehicle to train far-left activists.