Florida has become the largest state in the Union, requiring high school students to take and pass financial literacy courses before successfully graduating.
According to CNBC, GOP Gov. Ron Desantis signed into law SB 1054 on Tuesday after both Florida House and Senate passed a unanimous vote earlier this month.
“What the bill is doing with financial literacy is really providing a foundation for students that is going to be applicable in their lives no matter which path they take,” Desantis said during a press conference. “It will provide a foundation for students to learn to understand the basics of money management, debt comprehension, how to balance checkbooks, investments.”
The new law will take effect before the 2023-24 academic year and will apply to students entering the ninth grade. Before graduating they must take and pass a half-credit course on personal financing.
“Whether our students choose to attend one of our great colleges or universities, a trade or apprenticeship program, a career in the arts or the military, every student deserves to be equipped with education and knowledge to succeed financially in our society,” noted Demi Busatta. Cabrera, a Republican and one of the bill’s main sponsors.
With the passage of the bill, Florida is the most recent state to take the issue of personal financing seriously at an early age, joining the growing trend of states adopting similar legislation.
“The world of money is changing so fast that if we don’t help our students retain it, the next generation is going to repeat the cycle of financial literacy,” said Yanelli Espinal, director of educational outreach at Next General Personal Finance, a nonprofit, CNBC.
Financial News Network added:
Currently, there are 54 pending personal financial education bills in 26 states, according to Next General Personal Finance’s Bill Tracker. Now, students in 11 states, including Florida, have to take a separate personal finance course to graduate, considering the gold standard of such nonprofit education.
More than 20 other states incorporate some form of personal finance education into their curriculum in a variety of ways. And others have different offers, as well. For example, a bill proposed in Arizona states that a personal finance course could meet math course requirements under Next General Personal Finance.
Another bill proposed in Tennessee would make private financial courses compulsory for high school students. Tennessee is one of only seven states that already offers personal finance courses for high school students.
However, as Rick Moran mentions in PJ Media, finding teachers who are qualified to teach personal finance can be a problem.
According to the Finance Q&A, “teachers feel unfit to teach financial literacy,” said Julie Heath, director of the Center for Economics and professor of economics at the University of Cincinnati. “72 percent say they’re not ready to teach these ideas, and more than 90 percent think they need to be taught in school.”
Heath added, “No teacher in school or district should be in a position to teach a subject that he or she feels is unfit to teach.” “Budget constraints mean teachers often lack professional development which makes them more confident in teaching financial literacy.”
The outlet adds: “For example, how much is a teacher qualified to teach financial literacy with a credit card loan of $ 50,000?”
While some conservatives may think that educating children about money is a more appropriate job for parents, Moran noted that some students may have parents who themselves are illiterate or have no parents.
“The issue is very important that it is not all-inclusive and compulsory – just like the constitutional guidelines and other civic education,” he wrote, adding: “Desantis has once again proved himself to be an innovative and capable leader.”
Post-Florida has become the largest state to make a financial literacy course compulsory for graduates