Florida Governor Ron DeSantis appeared at Florida State College at Jacksonville on Monday to announce the Career Pathways for Public Service Initiative.
FSCJ will split $6.5 million in state funds with Polk State College and Broward College to create a civics curriculum that will prepare their students for public service and leadership.
“They’re actually going to partner with their local school districts,” said DeSantis. “Students can enter the program as early as 9th grade. Over the course of six years, they will be provided the knowledge base and the tools to potentially have a career in public service.”
“It’s really a one-of-a-kind workforce program to help students who may want to be involved in different types of government service,” said DeSantis. “I think this is really going to be innovative, and I bet you there are going to be states around the country that are going to be copying the model that we’re doing here today.”
DeSantis said the curriculum is going to be essential in helping students learn about their local and state governments.
“This is something that’s significant because when you leave our school system, you’re a citizen,” said DeSantis. “Most of them are either adults or will turn adults very quickly. And you’re going to be called upon to exercise the duties of being a citizen. And that’s something that’s very important.”
The conversation surrounding civics education has received some backlash from educators. Less than three weeks ago, K-12 teachers across Florida opposed the state’s new civics curriculum, arguing that it adheres to conservative Christian values.
DeSantis announced that teachers who complete the training program for this curriculum will be awarded a $3,000 bonus. He said it’s important for students to understand the building blocks and important events that have taken place throughout American history.
“Seeing issues from another perspective forces students to be able to have strong arguments and to understand the facts that may benefit your argument that are on the other side,” said DeSantis.