Will adding language that promotes civic literacy into the state constitution make Florida’s students more aware of their rights? A proposal to do just that is moving forward in the Constitution Revision Commission.
Commissioner Don Gaetz’s proposal aims to add only one sentence to Article 9, the education section of Florida’s constitution:
"As education is essential to the preservation of the rights and liberties of the people, the legislature shall provide by law for the promotion of civic literacy, in order to ensure that students enrolled in public education understand and are prepared to exercise their rights and responsibilities as citizens of a constitutional democracy," Gaetz said.
Gaetz’ fellow commissioners agreed with him on one thing – the average k-12 student and even many college graduates lack understanding about how government works.
Commissioner Pam Stewart, who also is the State Commissioner of Education, is hesitant to put her support behind the proposal.
"We currently do have legislation that requires civic literacy in our K-12 system and now in our college system and our university system," Stewart said. "And it also includes with that, an accountability system by having an appropriate assessment at each of those levels."
Stewart is among only five commissioners who did not vote on the proposal.