Origin and Mission

In January 2020, Governor DeSantis announced the Florida Civics and Debate Initiative (FCDI) with The Marcus Foundation to elevate civic knowledge, civic skills and civics disposition for middle and high school students. The Marcus Foundation committed $5 million over three years to the Florida Education Foundation to increase Florida student’s access to speech and debate program. Before the initiative was created, there were 11 school districts in Florida that participated in debate. In FCDI’s first year, Florida now has 59 active teams in 30 different school districts across the state.

The mission of the Florida Civics and Debate Initiative is to create access and opportunities for all students to have the best civics education including curriculum, debate programs, and high-quality teachers that are catalysts for students becoming great citizens who can preserve our constitutional republic for future generations.

Applications for our phase two schools are now live

Apply Here!

Florida Civics & Debate Initiative Goals

Within the seven regions in the map above, the Florida Civics and Debate Initiative will expand programs into 60 new schools in the first year with the intent to implement in all school districts by 2023. This will increase access for all students to participate in speech and debate programs, regardless of school district, socioeconomic status, or background.

Expand Local Civics, Speech & Debate Programs

The Florida Civics and Debate Initiative  will develop and host the first of its kind National Civics and Debate Competition (NCDC), which will allow a broader range of students to explore, understand, and express important constitutional, legal, and societal issues.

Host a National Civics Debate Competition

Provide Teacher Professional Development

Professional Development opportunities will be provided to teachers and debate coaches throughout the year to provide educators with techniques and best practices for teaching civics, speech, and debate.

Check out our Event Calendar!

Participating Schools

Alachua

  • Kanapaha Middle School
  • Hawthorne High School

Bay

  • Merritt Brown High School
  • Breakfast Point Academy
  • Deane Bozeman School

Brevard

  • Stone Magnet Middle School
  • Space Coast Junior Senior High School

Clay

  • Orange Park Junior High School
  • Orange Park High School

Miami-Dade

  • Pinecrest Glades
  • Pinecrest North Preparatory

Duval

  • Duncan Fletcher 6-8 Middle School
  • Samuel Wolfson 9-12 High School

flvs

FLVS Full 6-8
FLVS FULL 9-12

Gadsden

  • Gadsden Elementary Magnet School

Glades

  • West Glades School K-8
  • Moore Haven Middle High School

Highlands

  • Lake Placid High School

Hillsborough

  • Burnett Middle School
  • Summer High School

Jefferson

  • Somerset Jefferson Middle School
  • Somerset Jefferson High School

Lake

  • Mt. Dora Middle School
  • South Lake High School

Lee

  • Caloosa Middle School
  • Island Coast High School

Madison

  • Madison County High School

Marion

  • Liberty Middle School
  • West Port High School

Okaloosa

  • Baker Middle School
  • Ft. Walton Beach High School

Orange

  • Southwest Middle School
  • Colonial High School

Osceola

  • Westside K-8
  • Liberty High School

Palm Beach

  • Renaissance Charter at Summit
  • Congress Community Middle School
  • Lake Worth High School

Pasco

  • Dr. John Long Middle School
  • Wiregrass Ranch High School

Pinellas

  • Azalea Middle School
  • Bayside High School

Polk

  • Berkley Accelerated Middle School
  • McLaughlin Middle School
  • Navigator Academy of Leadership
  • Winter Haven High School

Putnam

  • George C. Miller Middle School
  • Q.I. Roberts Junior Senior High School

St. Lucie

  • Somerset College Preparatory Academy
  • Forrest Grove Middle School
  • Ft. Pierce Central High School

Seminole

  • Sanford Middle School
  • Seminole High School

Sumter

  • South Sumter Middle School
  • The Villages Charter High School

Taylor

  • Taylor Middle School
  • Taylor High School

Washington

  • Vernon Middle School
  • Vernon High School

Stay Informed!

Visit our Florida Civics and Debate FAQ to answer your questions about the initiative. You can also reach out to the Director of the Florida Civics and Debate Initiative, Elizabeth Eskin!

Elizabeth Eskin
Director of the Florida Civics & Debate Initiative
Email: Elizabeth.Eskin@fldoe.org

Check out the Florida Civics & Debate Initiative Newsroom!
Access the Florida Civics and Debate Initiative FAQs