SB 146                                           First Engrossed
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to civic literacy education; amending
    3         s. 1003.44, F.S.; requiring the Commissioner of
    4         Education to develop criteria for a civic literacy
    5         practicum that meets certain goals beginning in a
    6         specified school year; providing purpose and
    7         requirements for the practicum; authorizing time spent
    8         on specified civic engagement activities to count
    9         toward requirements for certain scholarships and
   10         academic awards; creating s. 1004.342, F.S.;
   11         establishing the Citizen Scholar Program within the
   12         University of South Florida; providing that the
   13         program will be headquartered at a specified location;
   14         requiring the program to contract with a specified
   15         entity to serve certain students, subject to
   16         appropriation; providing program requirements;
   17         providing undergraduate credit for program completion;
   18         providing an effective date.
   20  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   22         Section 1. Subsection (5) of section 1003.44, Florida
   23  Statutes, is renumbered as subsection (6), and a new subsection
   24  (5) is added to that section, to read:
   25         1003.44 Patriotic programs; rules.—
   26         (5)(a) The commissioner shall develop minimum criteria for
   27  a civic literacy practicum that helps students evaluate the
   28  roles, rights, and responsibilities of United States citizens
   29  and identify effective methods of active participation in
   30  society, government, and the political system. The practicum may
   31  be incorporated into a school’s curriculum for the high school
   32  United States Government course under s. 1003.4282(3)(d)
   33  beginning in the 2022-2023 school year.
   34         (b) The purpose of the practicum is to inspire meaningful
   35  civic engagement and help students learn how governmental
   36  entities at the local, state, or federal level interact with the
   37  public which they represent and serve. The practicum must
   38  provide students with an opportunity to be civically engaged
   39  through any of the following activities:
   40         1. Participation in an unpaid internship at a governmental
   41  entity.
   42         2. A series of simulations or observations of one or more
   43  governmental entities performing their core functions in
   44  relation to the public. Such functions may include
   45  administrative, legislative, or judicial functions and other
   46  official business conducted by a governmental entity.
   47         3. Learning about the United States citizenship
   48  naturalization process and attending a United States citizenship
   49  naturalization oath ceremony.
   50         (c) The practicum must require a student to complete a
   51  research paper that must include all of the following:
   52         1. Reflection on the student’s experience participating in
   53  the civic engagement activity.
   54         2. Explanation of the significance of the governmental
   55  entity’s role in the student’s community, the state, or the
   56  nation.
   57         3. Explanation of how the governmental entity is responsive
   58  to the public.
   59         (d) The hours outside of classroom instruction that a
   60  student devotes to an unpaid civic engagement activity under
   61  paragraph (b) may count toward the community service
   62  requirements for participation in the Florida Bright Futures
   63  Scholarship Program. School districts are encouraged to include
   64  and accept civic literacy practicum activities and hours toward
   65  requirements for academic awards, especially those awards that
   66  include community service as a criterion or selection factor.
   67         Section 2. Section 1004.342, Florida Statutes, is created
   68  to read:
   69         1004.342 The Center for Civic Engagement Citizen Scholar
   70  Program.—
   71         (1) The Citizen Scholar Program is created within the
   72  University of South Florida and shall be headquartered at the
   73  Center for Civic Engagement at the University of South Florida
   74  St. Petersburg due to its commitment to enhancing civic literacy
   75  and community engagement in the next generation of leaders.
   76         (2) Subject to appropriation, the University of South
   77  Florida St. Petersburg shall contract with the YMCA, a nonprofit
   78  organization exempt from taxation under s. 501(c)(3) of the
   79  United States Internal Revenue Code, to provide students
   80  participating in the YMCA Youth and Government program the
   81  opportunity to be designated Citizen Scholars and earn
   82  undergraduate credit.
   83         (3) The Citizen Scholar Program shall:
   84         (a) Combine academic instruction with the implementation of
   85  concepts learned in the classroom into the local community,
   86  including business, educational and social services, and
   87  laboratory research, to improve civic literacy and expand
   88  educational experiences for students.
   89         (b) Provide students with opportunities to deepen their
   90  knowledge of American democracy and improve civil discourse.
   91         (4) High school students completing the program shall
   92  receive up to 6 undergraduate credit hours and be known as
   93  Citizen Scholars.
   94         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2021.