Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a law this week requiring high school students in the state to take a financial literacy course to graduate.
The bill, titled the Dorothy L. Hukill Financial Literacy Act, requires students to take a half-credit in personal financial literacy and money management. Laws require the course to cover basic skills, such as managing a bank account, balancing a checkbook, completing a loan application, and calculating federal income taxes.
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It also requires the class to teach high school students about local tax assessments, disputing incorrect billing statements, the basics of personal insurance policies, and simple contracts.
“Financial literacy is an important life skill for a student,” DeSantis said in a statement. “Making sure our students have the skills to manage their finances and maybe one day own a business will pay dividends for our state. I am proud to sign this bill to support the future of Florida students and ultimately their families and communities.
New law makes Florida the 11th U.S. state to include financial literacy as a graduation requirement, joining Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island , Tennessee, Utah and Virginia.
Nearly 7 in 10 high school students in the United States had access to a stand-alone personal finance course in 2021, but only 1 in 5 were guaranteed to take one, according to a study by the nonprofit Next Gen Personal Finance. such a course in order to obtain his diploma.
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Yanely Espinal, director of education outreach for Next Gen, told FOX Business that several other states are considering legislation requiring personal finance courses, including Michigan, Georgia and South Carolina.
Espinal welcomed Florida’s move.
“Florida ranks 3rd in the nation for K-12 achievement and is a leader in education,” she said. “This financial literacy bill will have a ripple effect on other states, especially because it passed unanimously in the Senate and the House, which shows that it is really a bipartisan issue.”
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“Everyone agrees that our students need and deserve financial skills relevant to the 21st century,” Espinal added.