Gov. DeSantis announces $6.5M for civics leadership academies
Ron DeSantis. Image via Facebook.

The Governor and public officials say civics lessons will ‘secure’ Florida, as the state battles ‘woke’ ideologies.

Florida is extending its recent focus on civics education to the undergraduate level with a $6.5 million civil service and government leadership program.

The funding will help open three “civics academies” located at Broward College, Florida State College at Jacksonville and Polk State College. Beginning with the 2023-34 school year, students in ninth grade through the second year of college can attend the academies, which are expected to have more than 1,000 enrollees.

Speaking in Jacksonville on Monday, the Republican Governor drew a link between the state’s high school civics curriculum and its workforce development, two areas the administration has sought to bolster over the past year. DeSantis said he hopes to build off the state’s momentum on civics curricula to continue the education beyond the K-12 system.

“What we’re doing is really a one-of-a-kind workforce program to help students who may want to be involved in different types of government service,” he said.

Students will learn the knowledge base and tools needed for a career in service, and the academies will link students to apprenticeships and internships.

“Think about the applications here. Someone that wants to go into local government and become, like, a county manager, people that want to work in a state agency, what kind of a foundation are they having?” DeSantis said. “This is really what we’re providing here, the ability for them to really excel.”

Beyond serving in local government or state government, the curriculum would be helpful for those who want to become prosecutors or seek a career in law enforcement, he continued.

“I think there’s going to be a lot of interest in being able to do this,” DeSantis said.

The three colleges, all part of Florida’s public post-secondary education system, are partnering with the Florida Department of Education to put on the academies. DeSantis has emphasized the importance of civics education for the future of American society, contrasting it with “critical race theory” and “gender theory” that Florida Republicans have sought to rein in the last two years as part of a battle on “wokeism.” Universities around the country have been “inculcated with ideology,” he noted.

“The bottom line is it ends up just being groupthink. Those people are never challenged on their assumptions,” DeSantis said. “There are students across this country that graduate from universities without ever having their assumptions challenged when it comes to a lot of these things.”

Education Commissioner Manny Díaz similarly promoted the idea of protecting Florida with civics lessons.

“This innovative program here today secures Florida’s future for the next generation,” Díaz said. “We’re putting civics back into civil service thanks to the leadership of Gov. DeSantis.”

School officials also shared that message. The leadership academies will preserve communities by strengthening the workforce and teaching the population about their civic roles, said John Avendano, President of Florida State College at Jacksonville.

“When you bring those two factions together, you get a community that flourishes, you get a community that advances and strengthens as an overall region,” Avendano said. “For that to happen, you need leadership, you need leadership at all areas, you need an engaged citizenry, and that’s what we have with this program.”

Renzo Downey

Renzo Downey covers state government for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.


  • Joe Corsin

    July 18, 2022 at 7:24 pm

    Vote RED for state funded far right propaganda in schools.

    Vote RED for religious labotomy.

    Vote RED for grifters backed by terrorists.

    • Edward Lyle

      July 20, 2022 at 10:54 am

      … move along groomer

  • ScienceBLVR

    July 18, 2022 at 7:59 pm

    I would love to “vet” these new Civics lessons…if they are anything like the sanitized history lessons he just put out, I’m sure the indoctrination factors will rival any imaginary woke curriculum, DeSantis thinks is out there. Better be careful, if you educate a red state, it ceases being a red state.

    • Elliott Offen

      July 18, 2022 at 8:20 pm

      It’s alllll about keeping people stupid so they can be exploited by the rich. The hogs look at it like an investment. And allll the far right propaganda is to keep their voters angry and distracted from what they are doing. I’ll give you a hint: $15 dollars today is about $8 in 1997. Just think about how many people feel blessed making $15 an hour…..

  • Tjb

    July 18, 2022 at 10:50 pm

    Are these academies to be renamed reeducations camps at a later date?

  • John Barron

    July 19, 2022 at 3:41 am

    DeSantis is going full McConnell with all those new chins. Porky Ronnie can’t put down the potato chips…

  • Al

    July 19, 2022 at 12:25 pm

    Whatever the causes enjoy that money while it lasts

  • Just a comment

    July 19, 2022 at 9:27 pm

    Wait one minute is theirs goings to be a generation with bad atmosphere conditions.
    On the bright side it sounds great between the flooding

  • Edward Lyle

    July 20, 2022 at 10:55 am

    Best Governor in the Country!

Comments are closed.


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