Gov. DeSantis wants high-quality civics education, no ‘critical race theory’
Image via The Associated Press.

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Many questions remain about the Governor's $116M proposal.

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday in Naples rolled out the Civic Literacy Excellence Initiative: an ambitious proposal to use $116 million in federal coronavirus relief funds to ramp up civics education.

The one-time money from the CARES Act funded Elementary and Secondary School Relief Fund would, in theory, make Florida “the national leader in civics education” and “get politicization out of the curriculum.”

“The money’s there,” DeSantis advised. “We need to figure out the best way to do it.”

The goal is to provide “high-quality civics education,” under the auspices of the state Department of Education, with certification in the form of a “seal of excellence” and a $3,000 bonus for qualifying teachers. Those could be civics teachers, but DeSantis noted that since civics could be incorporated into subjects like English and history, that those “teaching other subjects” could qualify also.

DeSantis also proposes $16.5 million to add training for principals to elevate civics education in schools. They would be helped by so-called regional civics coaches. Another $6.5 million would be allocated to a career pathways program, which the Governor described as “public service incubators.”

The state would partner with “national leaders” in civics curriculum development, though DeSantis did not name them.

Expect “foundational concepts with the best materials” that exclude “critical race theory,” DeSantis added, as “teaching kids to hate their country and hate each other is not worth one red cent of taxpayer money.”

“I think if you look around the country,” DeSantis said, “understanding what our country is founded on has become very much a lost art.”

DeSantis noted at another stop in Palm Harbor that critical race theory “teaches our kids to hate our country.”

Foundational courses, the Governor noted, have fallen aside, as schools have become “indoctrination factories” and academics “engage in politicized academic fads with courses that reflect ideology not facts.”

This lack of a “common foundation,” DeSantis added, is “part of the reason you have so many divisions.”

“When you start talking about these wacko theories, it’s all designed to put a political agenda under the guise of history and civics,” DeSantis said in Palm Harbor.

The Governor stressed that he is seeking legislative authorization even though he didn’t necessarily have to.

“We got this money dumped,” DeSantis noted. “I could have just spent it and said it was emergency spending.”

Former Gov. Rick Scott urged DeSantis and all Governors to reject and return money not being used for direct relief, but clearly that won’t happen here, as the GOP Legislature will likely embrace this proposal.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at [email protected]


10 comments

  • Frankie M.

    March 17, 2021 at 12:53 pm

    Great! So we can finally teach our kids our country was founded on slavery and bigotry. Since we’re taking all the PC junk out right??

    • Patty

      March 17, 2021 at 2:10 pm

      Should I take your comment literally or is it sarcasm?

      • SwDc2Fl

        March 17, 2021 at 9:51 pm

        He forgot to add cruelty and racism to the list.

  • Patty

    March 17, 2021 at 2:11 pm

    Students should be taught about our Founding Fathers, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

    • Frankie M.

      March 17, 2021 at 6:59 pm

      I agree. Just don’t mention any Jews or darkies. Since remote learning is no longer taboo maybe Tucker Carlson could be an adjunct professor? Can we tie a religious education requirement bill into this and have former Congresswoman perform live exorcisms via Zoom?? That would be a blessing for the community!

      • Frankie M.

        March 18, 2021 at 9:31 am

        p.s. Former Congresswoman Kimberly Daniels…also we already have great civics education in our public schools which teach all about the Constitution, founding fathers, etc., etc, blah, blah, blah. Why reinvent the wheel?

        This reminds me of how Tony Sleiman used to hold free concerts at the Landing. Now we have free concerts where the Landing used to be. The more things change the more they stay the same. Six in one hand half dozen in the other. Ronnie needs to stay in his lane and out of our schools.

  • Sonja Fitch

    March 17, 2021 at 3:03 pm

    Duffus Desantis called this money just dumped here! Wtf is wrong with this fool! So we have money just dumped here! Civics? Why don’t you step back and ask the department of Ed and educators what the hell the current standards are being used to teach civics? A typical halfass goptrump death cult sociopath and GOPQ bs! Vote Democrat up and down ballot for the election in 2022!

  • Palmer Tom

    March 17, 2021 at 6:23 pm

    Let’s whitewash American history. Great civics education.

  • Timothy Jenney

    March 18, 2021 at 7:51 am

    This a great initiative. I teach US Government to high school seniors. They often know little about our country and its laws. They need a remedial course that is balanced, neither far-right nor progressive-left. We need to acknowledge our historical problems and mistakes, but focus on the future and realistic improvements. The US is one of the best countries in the world to live—and the pressure on our immigration system is proof of that.

  • Practical Floridian

    March 28, 2021 at 1:31 pm

    Why not invest in something that gives students valuable skills, like more IT education?

Comments are closed.


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