Increased Civics education approved by Florida House committee


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WFLA) – Civics education could soon be coming to a high school near you if it’s not already being taught.

A House committee in the State Capitol voted Wednesday to increase civics teachings for the 2021 school year.

One in three people could not name all three branches of government in a 2018 survey by Annenberg Public Policy Center.

We put the question to teens from the After School All-Stars program touring the Capitol.

“Legislator, Senate and….wait its the judicial system and the legislative system,” said Miami student Issabela Martinez.

Seconds later Martinez finally got it right.

“Executive, yea executive,” said Martinez.

Arianna Jireh of Tampa hit all three right away.

“I learned it in my seventh grade, no, my sixth-grade civics class,” said Jireh.

A House committee voted unanimously for State Representative Ben Diamond’s bill to increase civics education.

The courses must be nonpartisan and promote civil discourse.

“One of the key goals of this bill is to help young people be able to consider differing points of view, differing perspectives on a problem,” said Diamond.

Not only would kids learn about the country’s history, but they would also have to have a hands-on project.

The Legislation has the full support of the Governor.

“You know, everyone is on their devices all the time. Stand up, look someone in the eye. Make an argument. Take a position. Get engaged in a given take on a one on one basis like that, and I think that’s a good opportunity for students,” said Governor Ron DeSantis.

And Diamond thanks his parents, whom he called “consummate volunteers” for his interest in public service.

Civics is already mandated in Florida middle schools. This legislation would mandate it in high school and students could earn public service credit for Bright Futures scholarship by participating in a civic activity.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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