NAPLES, Fla. – Saying Florida needs to take the politicization out of its civics curriculum, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday announced a $106 million proposal to support civics literacy and civics education in public schools.
“Our schools are supposed to give people a foundation of knowledge, not supposed to be indoctrination centers, where you’re trying to push specific ideologies,” DeSantis said during a press conference in Naples.
The proposal will direct the Florida Department of Education to create the Florida Civic Seal of Excellence, a new professional endorsement for civics education. Teachers who complete the training will be eligible for a $3,000 bonus, DeSantis said.
“Let me be clear: there’s no room in our classrooms for things like critical race theory,” DeSantis said. “Teaching kids to hate their country and to hate each other is not worth one red cent of taxpayer money.”
Former President Donald Trump, who has received support from DeSantis, has also attacked critical race theory, calling it “toxic propaganda” that will “destroy our country” as he ordered all federal agencies to stop funding any training that “teaches or suggests” that the United States is a racist country.
Some experts have argued that critical race theory, “which presupposes that racism is embedded within society and institutions,” is not propaganda but instead is “a toolkit for examining and addressing racism and other forms of marginalization.”
“Critical race theory ultimately is calling for a society that is egalitarian, a society that is just, and a society that is inclusive, and in order to get there, we have to name the barriers to achieving a society that is inclusive,” Priscilla Ocen, professor at the Loyola Law School, told Time magazine last year. “Our government at the moment is essentially afraid of addressing our history of inequality and if we can’t address it, then we can’t change it.”