Florida Senate - 2020                                     SB 918
       By Senator Brandes
       24-01214-20                                            2020918__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to civic education; amending s.
    3         1003.44, F.S.; requiring the Commissioner of Education
    4         to develop minimum criteria for a nonpartisan civic
    5         literacy practicum for high school students, beginning
    6         with a specified school year; requiring the
    7         commissioner to develop a certain process for use by
    8         district school boards; specifying criteria for the
    9         civic literacy practicum; authorizing students to
   10         apply the hours they devote to practicum activities to
   11         certain community service requirements; requiring the
   12         State Board of Education to designate certain high
   13         schools as Freedom Schools, based on criteria the
   14         board establishes relating to students’ civic learning
   15         and civic engagement; providing an effective date.
   17  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   19         Section 1. Present subsection (5) of section 1003.44,
   20  Florida Statutes, is redesignated as subsection (6), and a new
   21  subsection (5) is added to that section, to read:
   22         1003.44 Patriotic programs; rules.—
   23         (5)(a) In order to help students evaluate the roles,
   24  rights, and responsibilities of United States citizens and
   25  determine methods of active participation in society,
   26  government, and the political system, the commissioner shall
   27  develop minimum criteria for a nonpartisan civic literacy
   28  practicum that may be incorporated into a school’s curriculum
   29  for the high school United States Government course under s.
   30  1003.4282(3)(d), beginning with the 2021-2022 school year. The
   31  commissioner also shall develop a process by which a district
   32  school board can verify that a student successfully completed a
   33  practicum meeting the criteria.
   34         1.The criteria must require a student to:
   35         a.Identify a civic issue that impacts his or her
   36  community.
   37         b.Rigorously research the issue from multiple perspectives
   38  and develop a plan for his or her personal involvement in
   39  addressing the issue.
   40         c.Create a portfolio to evaluate and reflect upon his or
   41  her experience and the outcomes or likely outcomes of his or her
   42  involvement. A portfolio must, at minimum, include research,
   43  evidence, and a written plan of involvement.
   44         2.A civic literacy practicum must be nonpartisan, focus on
   45  addressing at least one community issue, and promote a student’s
   46  ability to consider differing points of view and engage in civil
   47  discourse with individuals who hold an opposing opinion.
   48         (b)The hours outside of classroom instruction which a
   49  student devotes to the nonpartisan civic literacy practicum to
   50  implement his or her plan of involvement may be counted toward
   51  meeting the community service requirements of the Florida Bright
   52  Futures Scholarship Program. School districts must include and
   53  accept nonpartisan civic literacy practicum activities and hours
   54  in requirements for academic awards, especially those awards
   55  that currently include community service as a criterion or
   56  selection factor.
   57         (c)The State Board of Education shall annually designate
   58  each public school in the state which provides students with
   59  high-quality civic learning, including civic-engagement skills,
   60  as a Freedom School. The state board shall establish the
   61  criteria for a school’s designation as a Freedom School. The
   62  criteria must include:
   63         1.The extent to which strategies to develop high-quality
   64  civic learning, including civic-engagement skills, are
   65  integrated into the classroom using best instructional
   66  practices.
   67         2.The scope of integration of high-quality civic learning,
   68  including civic-engagement skills, across the school’s
   69  curricula.
   70         3.The extent to which the school supports
   71  interdisciplinary, teacher-led professional learning communities
   72  to support continuous improvement in instruction and student
   73  achievement.
   74         4.The percentage of students graduating with a standard
   75  high school diploma who successfully completed a civic literacy
   76  practicum and earned community service hours as provided in this
   77  subsection.
   78         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2020.