HB 611 and SB 146 in 2021-civics education

Here’s what HB 611 would add to Florida statute 1003.44 if it passes:
(5)(a) The commissioner shall develop minimum criteria for
19 a civic literacy practicum that helps students evaluate the
20 roles, rights, and responsibilities of United States citizens
21 and identify effective methods of active participation in
22 society, government, and the political system. The practicum may
23 be incorporated into a school’s curriculum for the high school
24 United States Government course under s. 1003.4282(3)(d)
25 beginning in the 2022-2023 school year.
(b) The purpose of the practicum is to inspire meaningful
27 civic engagement and help students learn how governmental
28 entities at the local, state, or federal level interact with the
29 public which they represent and serve. The practicum must
30 provide students with an opportunity to be civically engaged
31 through any of the following activities:
32 1. Participation in an unpaid internship at a governmental
33 entity.
34 2. A series of simulations or observations of one or more
35 governmental entities performing their core functions in
36 relation to the public. Such functions may include
37 administrative, legislative, or judicial functions and other
38 official business conducted by a governmental entity.
39 3. Learning about the United States citizenship
40 naturalization process and attending a United States citizenship
41 naturalization oath ceremony.
42 (c) The practicum must require a student to complete a
43 research paper that must include all of the following:
44 1. Reflection on the student’s experience participating in
45 the civic engagement activity.
46 2. Explanation of the significance of the governmental
47 entity’s role in the student’s community, the state, or the
48 nation.
49 3. Explanation of how the governmental entity is
50 responsive to the public.
51 (d) The hours outside of classroom instruction that a
52 student devotes to an unpaid civic engagement activity under
53 paragraph (b) may count toward the community service
54 requirements for participation in the Florida Bright Futures
55 Scholarship Program. School districts are encouraged to include
56 and accept civic literacy practicum activities and hours toward
57 requirements for academic awards, especially those awards that
58 include community service as a criterion or selection factor.

This is what SB 146 will add to 1003.44:
(5)(a) In order to help students evaluate the roles,  rights, and responsibilities of United States citizens and determine methods of active participation in society, government, and the political system, the commissioner shall develop minimum criteria for a nonpartisan civic literacy
practicum that may be incorporated into a school’s curriculum for the high school United States Government course required by s. 1003.4282(3)(d), beginning with the 2022-2023 school year.
[line 33]  The commissioner also shall develop a process by which a district school board can verify that a student successfully completed a practicum meeting those criteria.
   1. The criteria must require a student to do all of the following:
   a. Identify a civic issue that impacts his or her
   b. Rigorously research the issue from multiple perspectives and develop a plan for his or her personal involvement in addressing the issue.
   c. Create a portfolio to evaluate and reflect upon his or her experience and the outcomes or likely outcomes of his or her involvement. A portfolio must, at minimum, include research,  evidence, and a written plan of involvement.
 2. A civic literacy practicum must be nonpartisan, focus on addressing at least one community issue, and promote a student’s ability to consider differing points of view and engage in civil discourse with individuals who hold an opposing opinion.
(b) The hours outside of classroom instruction which a student devotes to the nonpartisan civic literacy practicum to implement his or her plan of involvement may be counted toward meeting the community service requirements of the Florida Bright
Futures Scholarship Program. School districts must include and accept nonpartisan civic literacy practicum activities and hours in requirements for academic awards, especially those awards that include community service as a criterion or selection factor.
(c) The State Board of Education shall annually designate each public school in this state which provides students with high-quality civic learning, including civic-engagement skills, as a Freedom School. The state board shall establish the criteria for a school’s designation as a Freedom School. The
criteria must include all of the following:
1. The extent to which strategies to develop high-quality civic learning, including civic-engagement skills, are integrated into the classroom using best instructional practices.
2. The scope of integration of high-quality civic learning, including civic-engagement skills, across the school’s curricula.
3. The extent to which the school supports interdisciplinary, teacher-led professional learning communities to support continuous improvement in instruction and student achievement.
4. The minimum percentage of students graduating with a standard high school diploma who must successfully complete a civic literacy practicum and earn community service hours as provided in this subsection.

Note that HB 611 says nothing about nonpartisan whereas its companion bill SB 146 does mention nonpartisan.

2021 new civics education bills

As of February 19, 2021 there are two pairs of bills to change the required civics education course.
One pair which I’m discussing below:
HB 5 https://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=72012&SessionId=90
SB 1450 https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2021/1450

This is the other pair:
SB 146 https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2021/146
HB 611 https://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=70926&SessionId=90

It was reported in this article that Ivanka Trump called the people who stormed the Capitol by the term “patriot”

HB 5 and SB 1450 are identical, i.e. they are companion bills for the House and the Senate.

This is what will be added to the Florida Statute 1003.4282 by HB 5:
which must include a comparative discussion of political ideologies, such as communism and totalitarianism, that conflict with the principles of freedom and democracy essential to the founding principles of the United States. 
  This is what will be added to Florida Statute 1003.44--Patriotic programs—by HB 5:
   34         (6) To help families, civic institutions, local
   35  communities, district school boards, and charter schools prepare
   36  students to be civically responsible and knowledgeable adults,
   37  the Department of Education shall:
   38         (a) Develop or approve an integrated civic education
   39  curriculum that school districts and charter schools must
   40  incorporate as part of regular school work in kindergarten
   41  through grade 12. The civic education curriculum must assist
   42  students in developing:
   43         1. An understanding of their shared rights and
   44  responsibilities as residents of the state and of the founding
   45  principles of the United States as described in s.
   46  1003.42(2)(a)-(c).
   47         2. A sense of civic pride and desire to participate
   48  regularly with government at the local, state, and federal
   49  levels.
   50         3. An understanding of the process for effectively
   51  advocating before government bodies and officials.
   52         4. An understanding of the civic-minded expectations,
   53  developed by the State Board of Education, of an upright and
   54  desirable citizenry that recognizes and accepts responsibility
   55  for preserving and defending the blessings of liberty inherited
   56  from prior generations and secured by the United States
   57  Constitution.
   58         (b) Curate oral history resources to be used along with the
   59  civic education curriculum which provide portraits in patriotism
   60  based on the personal stories of diverse individuals who
   61  demonstrate civic-minded qualities, including first-person
   62  accounts of victims of other nations’ governing philosophies who
   63  can compare those philosophies with those of the United States.
   64  This paragraph may be cited as the “Portraits in Patriotism
   65  Act.”
   66         (c) Approve integrated civic education curricula submitted
   67  by school districts and charter schools that meet the
   68  requirements of this subsection.

I sent this to the bill sponsors of HB 5/SB 1450

Please amend your bill so that 1003.44 applies to all publicly funded schools including schools receiving vouchers authorized by SB 48.

Please amend your bill to make it clear that  the courses mentioned in 1003.4282 are required of all students wishing to receive a high school diploma in Florida. There should be no exceptions for any of the certificates that call themselves high school diplomas: http://www.fldoe.org/core/fileparse.php/18617/urlt/1819-114025.pdf

I applaud you for including charter schools in your requirements that amend 1003.44 but why didn’t you include all publicly funded schools?  Since the majority of the current state legislators seem determined (via SB 48)  to give more and more of our taxpayer dollars to private schools and homeschooling parents, you need to consider why you’re mandating something for some publicly funded schools but not for others. What schools did the people that stormed the Capitol go to? What school did Ivanka Trump go to? It was reported that Ivanka Trump tweeted a message calling the people who stormed the Capitol by the term “patriot” and we heard the domestic terrorists inside the Capitol calling themselves patriots in the videos that have been released to the public. Why did they think storming the Capitol was a patriotic thing to do? Your bill should be required of all publicly funded schools.   The term patriot is discussed in this article:

Is your bill an attempt to make it clear that the people who stormed the Capitol are not patriots, i.e. they are domestic terrorists?

Are ALL students who want a standard high school diploma required to take the courses listed at  f.s. 1003.4282?  Are students who receive taxpayer funded vouchers required to satisfy the requirements of 1003.4282? Link to Florida statute that includes 1003.4282 : http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=1000-1099/1003/1003.html
Here’s how 1003.4282 begins:
(1) TWENTY-FOUR CREDITS REQUIRED.—(a) Beginning with students entering grade 9 in the 2013-2014 school year, receipt of a standard high school diploma requires successful completion of 24 credits, an International Baccalaureate curriculum, or an Advanced International Certificate of Education curriculum.
[and then later it says}
The Department of Education shall directly and through the school districts notify registered private schools of public high school course credit and assessment requirements. Each private school must make this information available to students and their parents so they are aware of public high school graduation requirements.