DeSantis signs bill requiring high school financial literacy classes

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill requiring financial literacy classes for high school law students on Tuesday morning.

The governor signed the bill during a press conference at the Innovation Preparatory Academy. Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran and Senate Speaker Wilton Simpson were also present.

Senate Bill 1054, also known as the Dorothy L. Hukill Financial Literacy Act, required a half credit of instruction in personal financial literacy and money management for a student to receive a high school diploma.

This bill also reduced the number of elective credits from eight to seven and a half.

According to the legislation, the bill was proposed to help young Floridians better prepare for economic challenges.

By signing the bill, DeSantis made Florida the seventh state to require a separate personal financial literacy course, as outlined in the text of SB 1054.

Topics in the financial education program would cover how to open and manage a bank account and what types of accounts are offered, and how to assess the quality of a depository institution’s services.

Additionally, students would learn how to balance a checkbook, the basics of money management to include “expenses, credit, credit scores, and debt management, including retail debt and credit card”, how to complete a loan application, what it means to receive an inheritance and its implications, the basics of personal insurance policies, how to calculate federal income tax, local tax assessments, how to calculate interest rates, how to enter into “simple contracts”, how to dispute incorrect billing statements, the different types of savings and investment accounts, and a basic knowledge of federal finance laws and state.

The law would begin offering what it calls financial literacy standards for high school students starting in the ninth grade. The changes would take effect in the 2022 to 2023 school year and would require financial literacy courses in several areas.

Sarah J. Greer