Financial literacy course back in Florida Legislature

Published Jan. 19, 2017

The incoming chairwoman of the Florida Senate Education policy committee has reasserted her top priority for the public school system, and it has nothing to do with testing or accountability.

Sen. Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange, filed a bill Thursday seeking to require a half-credit of financial literacy to graduate from Florida's high schools. (SB 392) She's been trying to get this legislation passed since 2014.

In 2015, Hukill put together a coalition of business leaders and teachers to help promote the idea, which she called an "economic no-brainer." She pushed the measure in 2016, as well, but it didn't get through its first point of reference -- the same committee she now leads.

If adopted, her bill would require ninth graders entering high school in 2017-18 or later to take a half-credit course in personal financial literacy and money management. Their elective requirements would be reduced to 7.5 credits.

The preamble to the bill explains, in part, the rationale: "The Legislature also finds that requiring educational instruction in financial literacy and money management as a prerequisite to high school graduation will better prepare young people in this state for adulthood by providing them with the requisite knowledge to achieve financial stability and independence."

There is so far no House companion.