Financial Literacy Now Required To Graduate High School In One State

By Jessica Marie Baumgartner | 3 months ago

financial literacy

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill requiring high school students to pass a financial literacy class in order to graduate. On Tuesday, he signed SB1054 which is titled Financial Literacy in Public Schools. This will go into effect for the 2023-2024 school year and provide a half-credit course that better prepares students in how to balance their own budget once they graduate and enter adulthood. 

The bill itself addresses the fact that many high school students graduate without the ability to fully manage their own money. It places an urgent need on some kind of instruction due to the current economic uncertainty and focuses on improving students’ ability to become stable and independent after receiving their diplomas. This measure is being hailed as another great opportunity to not only improve financial literacy but to get public education back on track as many families and schools have suffered in recent times.  

Some 21 states require financial literacy as a graduation prerequisite, but Florida is only one out of seven that will provide a standalone course dedicated specifically to financial literacy. How these classes will be structured is still undetermined, but based on current standards, they will most likely focus on the subjects of budgeting & saving, tracking expenditures, handling monetary setbacks, choosing a bank or credit union, building credit, managing online banking, payments, identity theft, and other financial issues. 

financial literacy

The Financial Educators Council ran a poll back in 2017 that asked young adult students, “What high school-level course would benefit your life the most?” A majority of over 50% responded that “money management” was needed. This concern for financial literacy has been growing for years. Parents and students alike often worry over money issues. It has been reported that 2 in 3 families do not have any savings for emergency situations. Three out of five adults live without a budget, and 78% of adults have admitted that they live paycheck to paycheck. Some have gone so far to say that Americans face a debt crisis; a financial epidemic.  

Each of these topics present constant real-life situations that most Americans have to balance or face penalties. Giving students the ability to learn and understand the financial climate and all that will be expected of them, once they turn eighteen and take on adult responsibilities, is projected to aid them in making better life decisions, which will lead to more successes and thus build a better economy. Many colleges have been providing financial literacy courses for some time now, but they are generally offered as electives, not required classes. By offering it earlier, and making it necessary to graduate, The Sunshine State is truly working to live up to its new aim: to be The Education State.

By passing a Financial Literacy in Public School policy, Governor Ron DeSantis is tackling this issue head-on. Parents and students will soon have more options to expand their financial education and better themselves. Of all the graduation requirements that high school students must achieve, understanding money management is probably the most important one on the list. How they succeed after the prerequisite goes into effect is of much interest.