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  1. Gradebook

Senator aims to create financial literacy graduation requirement in honor of its biggest backer

Dorothy Hukill, who died in the fall, had tried five times to get the concept through the Florida Legislature.
Sen. Dorothy Hukill presents her bill Nov. 8, 2017, to set a financial literacy high school graduation requirement. [The Florida Channel]

While in the Florida Senate, Dorothy Hukill filed legislation to require high school students earn a half-credit in financial literacy — things like balancing a checkbook and understanding car loans — five years running.

As the measure, which she considered a "no brainer," failed to get past the House again in spring 2018, the Port Orange Republican announced she'd bring it back for another debate in 2019.

Hukill died of cancer in October. And now one of her co-sponsors, Sen. Travis Hutson of Palm Coast, seeks to pass the bill in her honor.

The "Dorothy L. Hukill Financial Literacy Act" (SB 114) would have all high school students entering ninth grade in 2019-20 and beyond take a half-credit course focusing on finances and money management. Among the required topics would be contesting a billing statement, computing federal income taxes and understanding investments.

Such information is available in some economics courses as a lesson. Some districts offer the material as an elective.

But this would be a mandated social studies course. And it's one that many students have said in the past they would benefit from more than most.

Related coverage: Reading, writing and bank accounts: Should Florida require a high school course on money matters? 

The House, which watered down or killed past versions that the Senate had approved, does not have a companion bill at this point. There's time, though. The first committee meetings are scheduled for the week of Dec. 11.