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.
   19  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   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.