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Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at Omni Middle School in Boca Raton, outlines new civics & debate programs

Posted at 11:27 AM, Jan 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-27 20:02:47-05

BOCA RATON, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis spoke Monday afternoon in Boca Raton at Omni Middle School and outlined a new partnership allowing for better access to civics education and debate programs for Florida students.

DeSantis said the Florida Department of Education is partnering with the Bernie Marcus Foundation to increase student access to speech and debate programs.

Marcus is one of the founders of Home Depot.

DeSantis said Marcus has committed $5 million through his foundation over the next three years to the Florida Education Foundation to increase speech and debate programs.

The governor said he allocated $375,000 in his budget to implement this initiative, which seeks to expand and promote middle and high school debate and speech programs to all of Florida’s public school districts.

DeSantis said Florida will start a first-of-its-kind in the nation speech and debate competition for all students.

Also, the governor said the state is monitoring the coronavirus and has been in close communication with the Centers for Disease Control.

DeSantis said "we have had a number of people" in that area of China and there were concerns if they had contracted the coronavirus. He said everyone who has been tested for the virus, the results have been negative, so there are no confirmed cases in Florida.

The governor said he will be traveling to Washington, D.C. on Tuesday as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits the U.S.

Netanyahu is set to meet with President Trump and other officials to discuss a Middle East peace plan.