DeSantis Calls Unique American Ideals Infectious: ‘People Want to Learn More’

July 1, 2022 Updated 4:03 PM ET

DeSantis speaking

July 1, 2022 Updated 4:00 P.M. ET

SANFORD (FLV) – Gov. Ron DeSantis called American ideas that make the country unique an “infectious thing” Thursday as he praised Florida’s civics courses for focusing on the “real facts” in public schools.

“When you’re actually are exposed to a lot of the ideas that make America unique, it’s an infectious thing,” DeSantis said. “People want to learn more. They’re able to see very quickly why our system is superior than other systems that have been tried before.”

The Governor said students need to understand what it means to be an American and how the constitution is structured. DeSantis also touted Florida’s focus on teaching “accurate” American history without an ideological agenda. 

“You’re learning the real history,” DeSantis said. “You’re learning the real facts, but it’s not going to be done in a way that’s trying to indoctrinate students with whatever modern agenda that somebody may have.”

The governor applauded Florida’s improvements in Civic Literacy Exam scores. Assessment results showed performance increased by 5% overall in civics. African American students increased performance by 8% in civics. Students in economically disadvantaged families saw an increase of 7%.

“So amazing progress all across the board and drilling down on the importance of civics for our future citizens,” said Florida Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz, Jr.

Governor DeSantis announced that the Florida Civics and Debate initiative will expand to all school districts for the upcoming school year.

There are 2,500 teachers who will complete three-day civics professional development training by the end of July. Those teachers who participate in the civics bootcamps will be awarded the Civics Seal of Excellence and will receive a $3,000 bonus.

“We need to be able to produce students who understand what it means to be an American,” DeSantis said. “They understand our constitutional structure, they understand the founding principles of the country, they understand the Bill of Rights, and they understand what a society based on the rule of law means.”

In the upcoming school year, there will be $1 million put toward expanding the Florida Civics & Debate initiative, which is double last year’s funding. 

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