Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis this week signed legislation into law requiring that high school students in the state take a financial literacy course in order 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. The legislation requires that the course cover basic skills, such as how to manage a bank account, balance a checkbook, complete a loan application and compute federal income taxes.
It also requires that the class teach high schoolers about local tax assessments, contesting incorrect billing statements, the basics of personal insurance policies and simple 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.”
The new law makes Florida the 11th state in the U.S. to include financial literacy as a graduation requirement, following Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah and Virginia.
According to a study by financial literacy non-profit Next Gen Personal Finance, nearly 7 out of 10 high school students in the U.S. had access to a standalone personal finance class in 2021, but only 1 in 5 were guaranteed to take such a course in order to graduate.
Next Gen’s director of educational outreach, Yanely Espinal, told FOX Business several other states are considering legislation requiring personal finance courses, including Michigan, Georgia and South Carolina.
Espinal hailed Florida‘s move.
“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.”
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“Everyone agrees that our students need and deserve 21st century relevant financial skills,” Espinal added.