Gov. Ron DeSantis awards civic education bonuses to teachers at Ridgeview High School in Clay County

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Gov. Ron DeSantis handed out bonus checks to teachers Thursday morning at Ridgeview High School in Orange Park.

The checks are for teachers who have completed the state’s new civics education program.

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DeSantis is asking the legislature to provide more funding to keep the program running.

When the program launched, the goal was to award the first 20,000 teachers to complete the course $3,000 bonuses as an incentive to build a deep understanding of American government and what it means to be a citizen. But it appears that money will dry up quick.

DeSantis awarded $3,000 bonuses to seven Clay County teachers who had completed the new civics education program and earned the state’s civics seal of excellence.

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The program helps teachers of all subjects get a better understanding of the nation’s founding principles and the responsibilities of citizenry to give them the tools necessary to incorporate those lessons into classroom instruction.

Forty-five hundred teachers have completed the program and earned the bonus so far.

Only the first 20,000 teachers through the program were slated to get the bonuses, but since the program launched in January, a waitlist of 14,000 teachers has already developed.

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That’s why the DeSantis said he’s asking the Legislature to refund the program this year.

“We probably wouldn’t be as divided as we are as a country if everybody had a solid foundation in American civics and understanding the key aspects of what it means to be an American. So, we’re trying to remedy that. We’re trying to do something about it and we’ve had great success so far and we’re looking forward to building off the success,” he said.

Coming up on CBS47 and FOX30 Action News Jax at 5, hear what Florida Education Commissioner Manny Diaz had to say about a new proposed rule that would expand the ban on teaching gender identity and sexual orientation through the end of high school.

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