Bill would make financial literacy a requirement in Florida high schools


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“Managing money in college is really hard. A class on managing money in high school would’ve been great. I mean I’d still be spending money on whatever I want, but it would have been nice to know how to better spend my money,” Deveni Gibson, a student at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, said.

One of the hardest challenges for college students is learning how to manage the money that they may acquire while pursuing a degree. Some people get their first debit and credit cards in college and some even start paying bills, like paying the rent for their apartment.

The Florida Legislature has introduced a bill that serves as a high school requirement. The bill states that it will be mandatory for high school students to learn about money management.

If approved by both chambers — it’s still working its way through the House — starting on July 1, it will be a requirement for students entering the 9th grade in the 2018-2019 academic school year to take a financial literacy course in order to graduate.

This falls under the Florida Next Generation Sunshine State Standards. The financial literacy course will be worth half a credit and will be taken as an elective. Therefore, high schoolers in Florida will no longer need to earn eight elective credits, but seven and a half instead.

The legislation is officially Senate Bill 88 and House Bill 323. In the Senate, the bill was introduced by Republican Dorothy Hukill, and in the House, the bill was sponsored by Republican Heather Fitzenhagen.

SB 88 was filed on Aug. 9 and HB 323 was filed on Oct. 13. It has cleared the Senate but is still pending in the House.

The adoption of this education bill will make Florida the sixth state in the nation to require a stand-alone course in personal financial literacy. This money management class will be a prerequisite for high school graduation and a standard high school diploma.

Jessica Johnson, the parent of a student at FAMU Developmental Research School, is excited about the new course requirement. “It’s so important for students to learn about money management. My daughter will be going to college and it is important for her to know how to spend her money, especially if she is going to be on her own and independent while in school,” she said.

As of Feb. 25, the House bill has been placed on the calendar for the House Journal.