Florida's DeSantis Approves Legislation Requiring Financial Literacy Course in High Schools

© AP Photo / Phelan M. EbenhackFlorida Gov. Ron DeSantis addresses a joint session of a legislative session, Jan. 11, 2022, in Tallahassee, Fla.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis addresses a joint session of a legislative session, Jan. 11, 2022, in Tallahassee, Fla.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.03.2022
A growing number of US states are introducing or mandating financial literacy programs into school curricula, as they express concern about the absence of basic money management skills among young people.
To graduate from high school, all Florida students must now take and complete a basic financial literacy course, according to a new bill, titled the Dorothy L. Hukill Financial Literacy Act, signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday.
DeSantis said on Tuesday at a news conference in Tampa that the abilities targeted by the curricula will be "applicable in their lives regardless of what path they take." The course, worth half a credit, will be required starting in the 2023-2024 school year, according to the governor.
"Financial literacy is an important life skill for a student to have," DeSantis said. "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."
At the press conference, he added that the new requirement "will provide a foundation for students to learn about the basics of money management — understanding debt, understanding how to balance a checkbook, understanding the fundamentals of investing."
The bill was unanimously approved during the 2022 legislative session, which ended last week.
About a dozen principles will reportedly be taught in the class, and students will learn about different types of bank accounts, how to balance a checkbook, money management, debit and credit card management, how to complete a loan application, receive an inheritance, personal insurance basics, how to do taxes, local tax assessments, interest rates, simple contracts, contesting an incorrect bill, state and federal laws, as well as ways to save and invest.
Florida is the seventh US state to require a stand-alone course on personal financial literacy as a requirement for graduation.
"It is important that our students are given the tools and knowledge to make basic and well-informed financial decisions in the future," State Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran said. "Understanding concepts such as opening up a savings or checking account, buying a first home, or planning for retirement at a young age will pay off for students in the long-run as they begin their careers and families."
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