Ben Diamond seeks to boost high school civics education through community projects

His bill would create a new project in U.S. Govt. classes.

Rep. Ben Diamond filed legislation Thursday that aims to improve civics education in Florida high schools. The goal is to increase citizen engagement.

The bill would establish an option for school districts to include a nonpartisan civic literacy project through their U.S. Government curriculum. That project would require students to identify an issue or problem in their community, research the problem and then develop strategies to address it.

The bill (HB 581) would give students the opportunity to supplement U.S. Government education through community service and real-life problem solving.

“Students have traditionally learned civics through textbooks and class discussions,” Diamond said. “Our bill is designed to supplement that work with real-world problem solving. By applying what has been taught in the classroom to issues that exist in the real world, students gain a greater understanding of how to solve problems in their community.”

The bill addresses a problem in Florida. The state is one of the least civically active in the nation and ranks near the bottom nationwide in voter turnout in local elections as well as through attendance at public meetings or in membership through civic groups, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

Community service hours completed through the proposed U.S. Government project could be applied toward students’ eligibility for the Bright Futures Scholarship.

The bill would also allow participating schools to be designated “Freedom Schools.”

“Civic participation is fundamental to our American way of life, and our education system plays a central role in preparing young people to become informed and engaged citizens,” Diamond said. “This bill will help our students develop the skills they need to be active participants in the future of our communities.”

Rep. Vance Aloupis is the prime co-sponsor of the bill in the Florida House and Sen. Jeff Brandes is filing companion legislation in the Senate.

Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected].


  • Sonja Emily Fitch

    November 7, 2019 at 3:24 pm

    When is the last time …… these skills are taught….if so desperate to do common good…pay for college…provide supplies…pay for lunches…BETTER YET WHY NOT ASK A TEACHER.

  • keith

    November 8, 2019 at 6:44 am

    Peter is so fat and ugly

  • jon

    November 8, 2019 at 3:38 pm

    Democrats do not want the masses educated on civics, in fact, they want the opposite. Democrat voters are uneducated hicks.

  • John Kociuba

    November 9, 2019 at 8:04 am

    Dear Citizens ~

    Re: Civics

    Americans are only 5% of global population including colonies. Citizens in the Virgin Islands arent taught that Puerto Rico had slaves!

    The modern Educational system is a pro communist system! In 1979 before Communist Jimmy Carter created U.S. Department of Education the United States was #1 in education

    Yes. Fast forward to 2020 the United States is 17th. Get it? Civics is important but cannot coverup the ineptitude of School Board Educator policies, failed political leadership, overwhelming taxation.

    Teachers are big Government shylocks feeding off the hard working citizens basting in tenure and pensions. Colleges are WORSE! Yes! College teachers need that DEEP STATE FORCED 5-6% Federal Interest loan on kids to justify themselves.



    November 11, 2019 at 12:44 am

    Why did you delete my comment I just left here? 12:44 am 11/11??

Comments are closed.


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