Florida bill requiring high school finance course clears another hurdle

The Florida House is ready to consider a bill (HB 1115) that would require high school students to take a financial literacy course as a condition of graduation.

The House Education and Jobs Committee unanimously approved the bill on Wednesday. Under the bill, students entering high school beginning in the 2022-23 school year would be required to earn 7½ elective credits, a decrease from the currently required eight elective credits. A half-credit course in financial literacy and financial management would be added as a graduation requirement.

Related: Is 2022 the year Florida decides to require financial literacy for graduation?

The course should include instruction in concepts related to “fundamentals of money management,” such as spending, credit and credit scores, and debt management. Lessons in calculating federal income tax, completing loan applications, and opening and managing bank accounts would also be required.

The bill’s sponsor, Demi Busatta Cabrera, R-Coral Gables, said the measure would help prepare students for “financial success” after high school, regardless of their career path. State Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis also endorsed the measure on Wednesday.

“A financial literacy program helps our children in the long run; it promotes our country’s love of capitalism and entrepreneurship. It’s important to the health and well-being of our country, Patronis said in a tweet.

A similar bill (SB 1054) was scheduled for consideration in the Senate on Wednesday, but was postponed at the request of sponsor Travis Hutson, R-St. Augustine.

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