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 programs. Before the initiative was created, there were 11 school districts in Florida that participated in competitive debate. In FCDI’s first year, Florida added 59 active teams in 30 different school districts across the state. In its second year, the program has grown by over 100 teams in 48 school districts for the 2021-2022 school year.

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.

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.


Participating Schools

* New Schools in 2021-2022


  • Kanapaha Middle School
  • Oak View Middle School*
    Santa Fe High School*


  • Bay Haven Charter Academy Middle School*
    Breakfast Point Academy
    Merritt Brown High School
    Tyndall Academy*


  • Odyssey Charter School Junior/Senior High School*
    Pinecrest Academy Space Coast*
    Southwest Middle School*

    Space Coast Junior Senior High School
    Stone Magnet Middle School


  • Imagine School at Broward*
    Pembroke Pines Charter Middle West


  • Babcock High School*
    Babcock Neighborhood School*


  • Inverness Middle School*


  • Clay High School
    Orange Park Junior High School
  • Orange Park High School


  • Corkscrew Middle School*
    Immokalee High School*


  • Georgia Jones-Ayers Middle School*   
    iPrep Academy North Middle School*
    iPrep Academy North High School*
    MAST@ FIU BBC*    
    North Dade Middle School*

    Pinecrest Glades


  • Desoto High School*    
    Desoto Middle School*


  • Ruth Rains Middle School*


  • Duncan Fletcher Middle School
  • Jean Ribault High School*    
    Jean Ribault Middle School*   Landmark Middle School*
    Sandalwood High School*
    Samuel Wolfson High School
    William Raines High School*


  • Beulah Middle School
    Booker T. Washington High School*
    Ferry Pass Middle School
    Ransom Middle School*


  • AD Henderson


  • Buddy Taylor Middle School*    
    Indian Trails Middle School*

florida school for the deaf & blind

  • Blind High School, 9-12*


FLVS Full 6-8
FLVS Full 9-12


  • Florida State University High School*
    Florida State University Middle School*


  • Gadsden Elementary Magnet School


  • Bell Middle/High School*
    Trenton Middle/High School*


  • Hardee Junior High School*
    Hardee Senior High School*


  • Clewiston Middle School*


  • Lake Placid High School


  • Jefferson High School*  
    Pierce Middle School*    
    Randall Middle*


  • Bonifay K-8 grades*
    Ponce de Leon High School*


  • Somerset Jefferson Middle School
  • Somerset Jefferson High School


  • Mt. Dora Middle School
    Lake Minneola High School
  • South Lake High School
    Windy Hill Middle School*


  • Caloosa Middle School
  • Island Coast High School
    Three Oaks Middle School


  • Madison County High School


  • Braden River Middle School*    
    Lincoln Middle School*


  • Howard Middle School*
    Lake Weir High School*

    Liberty Middle School
    North Marion Middle School* Vanguard High School*
    West Port High School


  • South Fork High School*
    Stuart Middle School*


  • Key Largo School*
    Marathon High School*
    Marathon Middle School*


  • Callahan Middle School*
    Fernandina Beach Middle School*


  • Baker School
    Choctawhatchee High School*
    Clifford Meigs Middle School*
    Destin Middle School*
  • Ft. Walton Beach High School
    Ruckel Middle School*
    Shoal River Middle School*
    W.C. Pryor Middle School*


  • Colonial High School
    Southwest Middle School
    Horizon High School*
    Jones High School*
    Lake Buena Vista High School*


  • Liberty High School
    Westside K-8
  • Palm Beach

  • Boca Raton Community Middle School*
    Congress Community Middle School
    Crestwood Middle School*
    Crossroads Academy*
    Glades Central Community High School*
    Hidden Oaks K-8*
    Independence Middle School*
    Jeaga Middle School*

    Lake Worth High School
    Palm Beach Lakes High School*
    Renaissance Charter at Summit
  • Verde K-8*
    Woodlands Middle School*


  • Cypress Creek Middle School*
    Seven Springs Middle School*

    Wiregrass Ranch High School


  • Bayside High School
    Plato Academy Tarpon Springs Charter School*


  • Berkley Accelerated Middle School
    Citrus Ridge: A Civics Academy*
    Davenport High School*
  • McLaughlin Middle School
  • Navigator Academy of Leadership
  • Winter Haven High School


  • Booker Middle School*
    Imagine School Northport

St. Lucie

  • Allapatah Flatts K8*
    Creative Arts Academy of St Lucie*

    Forrest Grove Middle School
    Ft. Pierce Central High School
    Northport K8*
    Samuel Gaines Academy of Emerging Technology*
    Southern Oakes Middle School* Southport Middle School*

    Somerset College Preparatory Academy  
    West Gate K-8 Academy*


  • Sanford Middle School
  • Seminole High School
    Crooms Academy of Information Technology


  • South Sumter Middle School
  • South Sumter High School*
    Wildwood Middle High School*


  • Taylor Middle School


  • Burns Science and Technology Charter School*
    Campbell Middle School*
    Deltona Middle School*
    Galaxy Middle School*
    New Smyrna Beach High School*
    Silver Sands Middle School*
    Spruce Creek High School*


  • Freeport High School*
    Freeport Middle School*
    South Walton High School*
    Walton 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