Gov. DeSantis signs civics education bills into law

Briefing to be held at Three Oaks Middle School

Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks on June 14, 2021, at The Shul of Bal Harbour in Surfside. (WPLG)

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis signed three bills Tuesday at a middle school in Fort Myers aimed at civics education.

DeSantis signed HB 5, SB 1108 and HB 233 at Three Oaks Middle School.

House Bill 5, known as the Civics Education Curriculum bill, revises the high school graduation credit requirement for civics education and requires the state Department of Education to approve curriculum from school districts and charter schools.

Senate Bill 1108 authorizes state education officials to establish the Innovative Blended Learning and Real-Time Student Assessment Pilot Program which requires certain students to take specified civic literacy assessments.

House Bill 233 targets Florida colleges and universities requiring institutions to annually “assess the intellectual freedom and viewpoint diversity at that institution using a survey adopted by the State Board of Education.”

“It used to be thought that a university campus was a place where you’d be exposed to a lot of different ideas. Unfortunately, now the norm is really, these are more intellectually repressive environments, you have orthodoxies that are promoted and other viewpoints are shunned or even suppress,” DeSantis said. “We don’t want that in Florida, you need to have a true contest of ideas, students should not be shielded from ideas and we want robust first and then that speech on our college and university campuses.”

On Monday, the governor spoke in Jacksonville to highlight an increase in state funding for Alzheimer’s and dementia care and research. He also touted the state’s legal victory against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s no-sailing order on the cruise industry.

About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.