Each educator earning a Civics Seal of Excellence Endorsement receives a stipend worth $3,000 each
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced Florida has awarded 11,000 teachers more than $33 million for completing civics training offered by the Florida Department of Education. The educators have completed either the Summer Civics Professional Learning Series or the first-of-its-kind Civics Seal of Excellence Endorsement, which equip teachers with the knowledge and skills to provide high-quality civics instruction.
Governor DeSantis and the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) launched the Civics Seal of Excellence in January, and more than 10,000 teachers registered for the course within the first week. Course enrollment is at capacity with 20,000 teachers enrolled and an additional 11,000 educators on the waiting list. FDOE enlisted the assistance of nationally recognized civics experts to create the 50-hour online program that contains over 28 hours of high-quality video lessons focused on America’s history, civics, and government.
“Understanding the founding principles of our nation is the key to protecting and maintaining our republic for generations to come,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Florida teachers are leading the way in civics education, which is demonstrated by our student success, especially when compared to the rest of the nation. Congratulations to our educators who have taken advantage of Florida’s unique civics professional learning opportunities.”
“Through state leadership and the commitment of thousands of educators, Florida has provided students unprecedented civics education,” said Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz, Jr. “Thank you to Governor DeSantis for distributing $33 million to teachers who have completed civics training to better prepare their students to become civically engaged and honor their responsibilities as American citizens.”
“The Civics Seal of Excellence course should be a model for the entire nation,” said Kelley Mathews, Social Studies Teacher at Fort White High School in Columbia County. “The text assignments and materials are extremely valuable in making connections between historical context and modern day applications. I teach U.S. Government, Economics, African American History, Law Studies, and Florida History, and this course will benefit each and every one of these classes.”
Since taking office, Governor DeSantis has prioritized civics education. In 2020, Governor DeSantis established the Florida Civics and Debate Initiative (FCDI), the first statewide program of its kind focused on using debate as a tool to enrich civics education. Schools that participate in the FCDI have demonstrated higher pass rates on both the Civics and U.S. History End-of-Course Exams than schools without an FCDI team. The application form for schools to join the FCDI for the 2023–2024 school year is available at: Florida Civics and Debate Initiative Participation Request SY 23–24.
The Civics Literacy Excellence Initiative was created in July 2021 to continue elevating civic literacy and education for Florida’s students. Efforts within the Civics Literacy Excellence Initiative include the Civics Seal of Excellence, professional learning aligned to the revised civics and government standards, the Portraits in Patriotism oral history resources, Stories of Inspiration, and Civics Academies.