SB 146 First Engrossed 2021146e1 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. 19 20 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 21 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.