Starting in fall 2023, high school students in Florida must pass a financial literacy course to graduate.
Last week, Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill requiring high school students to take a financial literacy course before they can graduate. The proposed Dorothy L. Hukill Literacy Act will require students to take a half-credit in the Personal Financial Literacy and Money Management course.
The course will cover basic skills, such as managing a bank account, balancing a checkbook and how to complete a loan application.
“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.
Nearly seven in ten 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, according to a study by the non-profit organization Next Gen Personal Finance. courses in order to graduate.
Shamar Fuller, a high school graduate, says he wishes this course had come into effect sooner.
“I hear all the time how students are in debt and before I go off to college, it’s best for me to apply for so many scholarships,” Fuller said. “I’ve been awarded many scholarships, but I feel like there’s still a lot I don’t know about money management, and I hope seniors will next year will be grateful for this upcoming course as it will help many of them in the future.”
The new requirement also reduces the number of electives required for high school students from eight credits to seven and a half credits.
Recent FAU graduate Leslie Thompson believes that a financial literacy course is far more important than some electives.
“If this course were approved sooner, I think more current students and recent college graduates would be less in debt than they are now,” Thompson said. “There are simply too many people in the world who are drowning in student debt because they have taken out unnecessary loans or are bad at money management. This new requirement will be reliable for all high school students instead of taking unnecessary electives.
The new law makes Florida the 11th state in the United States to include financial literacy as a graduation requirement.