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Florida high school students may soon be required to take financial literacy course


Florida high school students may soon be required to take a financial literacy course. (iStockphoto)

Forget calculus and geometry — real-life skills like debt management and understanding credit reports and scores may soon be required coursework at Florida high schools.

Proposed legislation would revise the essentials for a diploma to include a half-credit of instruction in personal financial literacy.

Called the Dorothy L. Hukill Financial Literacy Act, it’s named for the late state senator who first introduced the legislation last year, when it did not get past the House. State Senator Travis Hutson is now trying to have the bill passed following Hukill’s October death.

“Many young people in this state graduate from high school without having basic financial literacy or money management skills,” the bill states. “Requiring educational instruction in financial literacy and money management as a prerequisite to high school graduation will better prepare young people in this state for adulthood by providing them with the requisite knowledge to achieve financial stability and independence.”

According to the bill, if passed, it would make Florida the sixth state to require a stand-alone course in personal financial literacy in order to receive high school diploma. The proposed course would take a half-credit from the eight credits currently allotted to electives. The change would take effect for students going into ninth grade in the 2019-2020 school year and after.

Instruction as part of the personal financial literacy class would include types of bank accounts offered, balancing a checkbook, money management, completing a loan application, receiving an inheritance and related implications, computing federal income taxes, contesting an incorrect billing statement and more.