Bill requiring a financial literacy class in high school aces first committee stop

By Tristan Wood
February 9, 2022
If the bill passes, high school students would have to take a half-credit financial literacy class to graduate beginning in 2022-23.

Legislation requiring high school students take a financial literacy and management class passed its first committee Monday.

HB 1115, which would require all students to take a half-credit financial literacy class before graduating, passed the House Secondary Education & Career Development Subcommittee unanimously. The class will teach students about banking practices, money management, credit scores, managing debt, loan applications, insurance policies and local tax assessments.

Republican Rep. Demi Busatta Cabrera, the bill’s sponsor, said the legislation is aimed at helping all of Florida’s students regardless of their career goals.

“Whether our students are headed to one of our great colleges or universities, a valuable trade or apprenticeship program, the military or a career in the arts, every single one of them deserves to be equipped with education and information on how to succeed and thrive financially in our society,” she said.

The bill received enthusiastic support from legislators from both political parties.

Democratic Rep. Marie Woodson said she has spoken with young people in her district who have difficulty handling money.

“This is a bill that is really, really needed. As parents we have seen how our kids don’t have any concept of money,” Woodson said.

Rep. Felicia Robinson, a career educator, said the bill would strengthen the curriculum across the state.

“There have been thousands and thousands of students who have graduated from high school and don’t know how to balance their checkbooks,” she said.

The bill still has two more committee stops. If it is passed, the financial literacy class requirement will apply starting with ninth-graders who enter high school in the 2022-23 school year.

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John Goshco
John Goshco (@guest_63867)
1 year ago

A great idea whose time has come (again).

In 1959, my 8th grade math class included six months of personal finance. We started with how to balance a check book and then advanced to simple interest and compound interest.

Then we learned how to calculate simple annuities. (i.e. You deposit 10 dollars a month into a bank account for 20 years at 3% interest. After 20 years you withdraw $100 a month. How long until the money runs out?)

We also learned how to fill out a simple (1040-A) income tax form.

No electronic calculators back then. All calculations done with pencil and paper.

Looking back, the only fault I can find with the program was that it should have been given a little closer to 12th grade graduation, so you would be less likely to forget these useful/important concepts as you proceed into “real life”.

DAVID LOTT(@dave-l)
1 year ago

Fully agree. A number of other states have this as a mandatory class for young adults to be better prepared for economic decision making, responsible use of credit and budgeting. In today’s environment of technology dependence, most people have no basic understanding of how the technology works and what to do if something goes wrong.

John Goshco
John Goshco (@guest_63880)
1 year ago
Reply to  DAVID LOTT

And that reminds me… In 7th and 8th grade, the boys took shop class. (Wood shop, print shop, metal-working shop.) We used a sewing machine to make our own shop aprons. Meanwhile, the girls took two years of Home Economics. Surely there must be a way to update (and combine?) these courses to reflect modern times.