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DeSantis: Civics curriculum proposal will 'expressly exclude' critical race theory

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisCruise line CEO says ships may avoid Florida over COVID-19 passport ban The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - More states are passing voting restrictions Ex-DeSantis staffers form support group MORE (R) on Wednesday unveiled his proposal for a civics education curriculum in the state, emphasizing it will “expressly exclude” critical race theory.

“A high-quality education begins with a high-quality curriculum, which is why we’re going to be laser-focused on developing the best possible civics instruction standards,” DeSantis said at a press conference.

“Florida civics curriculum will incorporate foundational concepts with the best materials, and it will expressly exclude unsanctioned narratives like critical race theory and other unsubstantiated theories,” he added.

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DeSantis said there is “no room in our classrooms for things like critical race theory,” adding that “teaching kids to hate their country and to hate each other is not worth one red cent of taxpayer money.”

He said the state will instead invest in “actual, solid, true curriculum” and will be a “leader in the development and implementation of a world-class civics education.”

Critical race theory examines institutionalized racism and other societal barriers to equality that disproportionately affect people of color.

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DeSantis on Wednesday argued that the theory is “trying to make people view each other based on race.” He says he wants to do the opposite, adding that “our schools are supposed to give people a foundation of knowledge, not supposed to be indoctrination centers, where you’re trying to push specific ideologies.”

In September, then-President TrumpDonald TrumpDemocrats, activists blast reported Trump DOJ effort to get journalists' phone records Arizona secretary of state gets security detail over death threats surrounding election audit Trump admin got phone records of WaPo reporters covering Russia probe: report MORE directed the Office of Management and Budget to end racial sensitivity training, including training sessions that discussed “white privilege” or “critical race theory.”

“They were teaching people that our country is a horrible place, it’s a racist place, and they were teaching people to hate our country, and I’m not going to allow that to happen,” Trump said at a presidential debate about the trainings.

DeSantis, a close ally of Trump, is now urging the state legislature to take up his $106 million education proposal directing the Florida Department of Education to create the Florida Civics Seal of Excellence, which the governor described as a "new professional endorsement for civics education."

Teachers who complete a training and receive the endorsement will be awarded a $3,000 bonus, a provision DeSantis thinks will “draw in more people” who are interested in being civics teachers.

An additional $16.5 million will be set aside for subsequent trainings, professional development and classroom supports for principals and teachers who are interested in elevating civics education in their schools, DeSantis said.

He noted that the civics curriculum would not include "unsanctioned narratives" such as critical race theory.