Finance

New Florida law requires high school students to take financial literacy course

New Florida law requires high school students to take financial literacy course

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis this week, a law was signed into law requiring high school students across the state to take a financial literacy course to graduate.

Financial literacy lessons guide students through day-to-day finances, taxes, budgeting, and other financial life lessons. (Michael Robinson Chavez/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images/Getty Images)

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 on local tax notices, contesting erroneous 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.

Ron DeSantis Governor of Florida

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks during a press conference. (Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images/Getty Images)

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.

According to a study by the non-profit organization Next Gen Personal Finance, 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 such a course to graduate.

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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.

Florida Capitol

A view of the Florida State Capitol building on November 10, 2018 in Tallahassee, Florida. Three close electoral races for governor, senator and commissioner of agriculture are expected to be recounted in Florida. (Mark Wallheiser/Getty Image/Getty Images)

Espinal hailed Floridas 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.