Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed legislation into law this week mandating all high school students in the state to complete a financial literacy course before graduating.
Students must complete a half-credit course in personal financial literacy and money management under the Dorothy L. Hukill Financial Literacy Act. The law mandates that the training include fundamental skills including managing a bank account, balancing a checkbook, filling out a loan application, and calculating federal income taxes.
It also mandates that the curriculum instruct high school students on local tax assessments, disputing inaccurate billing statements, the fundamentals of personal insurance policies, and basic contracts.
“Financial literacy is an important life skill for a student to have,” DeSantis said in a statement. “Ensuring our students have the skills to manage their finances and perhaps one day own a business will pay dividends for our state. I am proud to sign this bill to support the future of Florida’s students and ultimately their families and communities.”
Following Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, and Virginia, Florida is now the 11th state in the United States to require financial literacy as a graduation requirement.
According to Next Gen Personal Finance, a financial literacy non-profit, roughly 7 out of 10 high school students in the United States had access to a standalone personal finance curriculum in 2021, but only 1 in 5 were guaranteed to take one in order to graduate.
Yanely Espinal, Next Gen’s director of educational outreach, told FOX Business that many additional states, including Michigan, Georgia, and South Carolina, are exploring legislation requiring personal finance classes.
Espinal applauded Florida’s decision.
“Florida ranks 3rd in the nation for K-12 Achievement and is a leader in the education space,” she said. “This financial literacy bill will have a ripple effect on other states, especially because it passed unanimously in both the Senate and House showing it is truly a bipartisan matter.”
“Everyone agrees that our students need and deserve 21st century relevant financial skills,” Espinal added.
The article is paraphrased from the following: New Florida law requires high school students to take financial literacy course, Breck Dumas, March 25, https://www.foxbusiness.com/lifestyle/new-florida-law-requires-high-school-students-to-take-financial-literacy-course