Florida Senate - 2021 SB 146 By Senator Brandes 24-00351-21 2021146__ 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 12 school districts accept nonpartisan civic literacy 13 practicum activities and hours in requirements for 14 certain awards; requiring the State Board of Education 15 to designate certain high schools as Freedom Schools; 16 requiring the state board to establish criteria for 17 such designation; providing an effective date. 18 19 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 20 21 Section 1. Present subsection (5) of section 1003.44, 22 Florida Statutes, is redesignated as subsection (6), and a new 23 subsection (5) is added to that section, to read: 24 1003.44 Patriotic programs; rules.— 25 (5)(a) In order to help students evaluate the roles, 26 rights, and responsibilities of United States citizens and 27 determine methods of active participation in society, 28 government, and the political system, the commissioner shall 29 develop minimum criteria for a nonpartisan civic literacy 30 practicum that may be incorporated into a school’s curriculum 31 for the high school United States Government course required by 32 s. 1003.4282(3)(d), beginning with the 2022-2023 school year. 33 The commissioner also shall develop a process by which a 34 district school board can verify that a student successfully 35 completed a practicum meeting those criteria. 36 1. The criteria must require a student to do all of the 37 following: 38 a. Identify a civic issue that impacts his or her 39 community. 40 b. Rigorously research the issue from multiple perspectives 41 and develop a plan for his or her personal involvement in 42 addressing the issue. 43 c. Create a portfolio to evaluate and reflect upon his or 44 her experience and the outcomes or likely outcomes of his or her 45 involvement. A portfolio must, at minimum, include research, 46 evidence, and a written plan of involvement. 47 2. A civic literacy practicum must be nonpartisan, focus on 48 addressing at least one community issue, and promote a student’s 49 ability to consider differing points of view and engage in civil 50 discourse with individuals who hold an opposing opinion. 51 (b) The hours outside of classroom instruction which a 52 student devotes to the nonpartisan civic literacy practicum to 53 implement his or her plan of involvement may be counted toward 54 meeting the community service requirements of the Florida Bright 55 Futures Scholarship Program. School districts must include and 56 accept nonpartisan civic literacy practicum activities and hours 57 in requirements for academic awards, especially those awards 58 that include community service as a criterion or selection 59 factor. 60 (c) The State Board of Education shall annually designate 61 each public school in this state which provides students with 62 high-quality civic learning, including civic-engagement skills, 63 as a Freedom School. The state board shall establish the 64 criteria for a school’s designation as a Freedom School. The 65 criteria must include all of the following: 66 1. The extent to which strategies to develop high-quality 67 civic learning, including civic-engagement skills, are 68 integrated into the classroom using best instructional 69 practices. 70 2. The scope of integration of high-quality civic learning, 71 including civic-engagement skills, across the school’s 72 curricula. 73 3. The extent to which the school supports 74 interdisciplinary, teacher-led professional learning communities 75 to support continuous improvement in instruction and student 76 achievement. 77 4. The minimum percentage of students graduating with a 78 standard high school diploma who must successfully complete a 79 civic literacy practicum and earn community service hours as 80 provided in this subsection. 81 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2021.