TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Governor Ron DeSantis spoke about expanding the civics and debate initiative in Florida at press conference Thursday afternoon.

He was joined by Florida Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr., teachers and students at Crooms Academy of Information Technology in Sanford, Seminole County.

DeSantis said the state is allocating $1 million to the initiative for the next fiscal year. That’s double the amount the state gave to the initiative last year.

He pointed to some of the successes of their past initiatives. Nearly 70 percent of students are passing Florida civics exams, according to DeSantis. That’s up about 5 percent.

“A strong civics education is foundational to the American experience,” said Florida Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz, Jr. “Today’s scores highlight the improvements our students have made in becoming more informed and involved citizens.”

DeSantis also said they have commitments from 60 school districts to have debate programs for students.