Florida Senate panel approves bill requiring the teaching of Communism History in all public schools

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — On Tuesday, the Florida Senate Education Appropriations Committee unanimously approved a revised bill that mandates teaching the history of communism in all public schools, beginning as early as kindergarten. The move aligns with a House position advocating for comprehensive education on communism across all grades.


Initially proposed as Senate Bill 1264, the legislation sought to establish a History of Communism Task Force within the state Department of Education. However, following revisions, the bill now mandates the inclusion of communism history in all grades starting from the 2026-2027 school year.

The instructions provided for teaching about communism must be suitable for the age and developmental level of the students.

The lessons would reportedly include teaching various concepts such as the “atrocities committed in foreign countries under the guidance of communism, and the economic, industrial, and political events that have preceded and anticipated communist revolutions.”

The bill sponsor, Senator Jay Collins, R-Tampa, emphasized educating young minds, and that young people should not view communism in a positive light.

“If we fail to educate children on what this truly means, the pain, suffering, and sorrow associated with it, we’re failing in our prime cause as parents, as leaders in our community,” Collins stated.

In Florida, public school students are currently taught about communism in their seventh-grade civics and government classes, as well as in their high school social studies courses.

As per a Senate staff analysis of the bill, between 1962 and 1991, high school students in Florida were mandated to undertake a 30-hour course titled “Americanism vs. Communism,” which portrayed communism as an ideology antithetical to freedom, endorsed by a “hostile entity” armed with resources and technological weapons for combating liberty and “human freedom.”

The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the dissolution of the Soviet Union eventually convinced supporters that the state course had passed its prime.

Those in opposition to the new bill noted concerns that elements from the “Americanism vs. Communism” course would be present in the new teachings, which could cause bias.

READ: History of communism bill draws questions if topics are appropriate for young Florida students

Several supporters of the new bill recounted personal and family members’ experiences under communist governments.

Jaime Arellano, who was a political prisoner in Nicaragua, stated “I think it’s very important for this country to teach young kids what communism does, what communism takes away from you, what communism does to your family, what communism does to your dream.”

The revised bill also calls for collaboration between a college and university in South Florida to develop programs promoting democratic practices and economic and legal reforms.

Additionally, it proposes the establishment of an “Institute for Freedom in the Americas” at Miami Dade College, to be housed in the historic Freedom Tower, symbolizing solidarity with those fleeing Communist-led Cuba.

While the bill no longer includes provisions for a History of Communism Task Force, it outlines the creation of an oversight board for the proposed Institute for Freedom in the Americas. This board, comprising appointees from the House speaker, Senate president, and Gov. DeSantis, would ensure the institute’s alignment with its objectives.

Gov. DeSantis signed a bill in 2022 that would require public schools to observe “Victims of Communism Day” on November 7 each year.

A parallel House bill (HB 1349) is scheduled for review by the House Education & Employment Committee on Wednesday, indicating bipartisan support for comprehensive education on communism history in Florida’s public schools.

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William Clayton

William Clayton, Action News Jax

Digital reporter and content creator for Action News Jax