Original Article written on March, 22, 2022
WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill 1054, titled the Dorothy L. Hukill Financial Literacy Act, which will require high school students to take a financial literacy course to receive a standard high school diploma. The legislation will officially become a graduation requirement for students who enter high school in the 2023-2024 school year and will not affect students currently enrolled in high school.
“Financial literacy is an important life skill for a student to have,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Ensuring our students have the skills to manage their finances and perhaps one day own a business will pay dividends for our state. I am proud to sign this bill to support the future of Florida’s students and ultimately their families and communities.”
Students will be required to earn one-half credit in personal financial literacy and money management, including instruction on types of bank accounts, credit scores, taxes, and managing debt. Due to the economic challenges currently facing the nation, SB 1054 will help prepare students by providing them with the knowledge to achieve financial stability and independence.
“As Florida’s CFO and the father of two, I’ve seen firsthand the importance of teaching our kids financial literacy at a young age,” said Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis.“It’s critical we set Florida students up for financial success and thank you to Governor DeSantis for signing this important measure to ensure vital financial literacy resources are available to Florida students. Financial literacy is an important key to a strong financial future and I’m proud that learning the basics of credit, budgeting, savings, and investing will now be taught throughout Florida’s schools. These lessons are also critical to training future generations of Americans to appreciate America’s capitalist system and grow our nation’s pool of entrepreneurs. Thank you to Senator Hutson and Representative Busatta Cabrera for their hard work on getting this legislation passed and setting students up for success in and out of the classroom.”
“It is important that our students are given the tools and knowledge to make basic and well-informed financial decisions in the future,” said Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran. “Understanding concepts such as opening up a savings or checking account, buying a first home, or planning for retirement at a young age will pay off for students in the long-run as they begin their careers and families. I am grateful for Governor DeSantis’ commitment to always to make decisions in the best interest of Florida’s students and their futures.”
This legislation builds on Commissioner Corcoran’s work to eliminate Common Core and implement B.E.S.T. Standards for Math, standards that now embed financial literacy strands in ninth through 12th grades. Common Core did not include financial literacy for any grade level and this legislation will solidify Florida’s comprehensive commitment to our students’ future success.
“Our Senate colleague and good friend, Senator Dorothy Hukill, had a career-long dedication to expanding opportunities for our students to learn about financial literacy in high school,” said Senate President Wilton Simpson. “As a former classroom teacher herself, Senator Hukill understood firsthand just how important these skills are to successful employment and economic independence in adulthood. I am so honored to be here with Governor DeSantis to see this legislation become law today. Senator Hukill’s vision is becoming a reality and generations of Florida’s students will benefit.”
“Thank you, Governor DeSantis for signing legislation that requires financial literacy for our high school graduates so our young people can make wise financial decisions as they progress through life,” said Speaker Chris Sprowls. “Bill sponsor Representative Demi Busatta Cabrerra recognizes that a knowledge of fundamental financial literacy is foundational for not only one’s personal finances, but also for the overall financial health of our state.”
“Senator Hukill was a personal friend, and it is my deepest honor to fulfill her legacy,” said Senator Travis Hutson. “Every student should learn financial literacy before they graduate and start making real life financial decisions. I cannot thank the Governor enough for not only the bill signing but also helping Florida’s graduates be better prepared for tomorrow’s future.”
“This is a win for Florida students and will ensure they have the tools to make educated financial decisions and empower them to thrive in our economy, no matter what path they choose after high school,” said Representative Demi Busatta Cabrera.
“I am a daughter of immigrants and my parents ran a household that was cash only,” said Yanely Espinal, Director of Educational Outreach, Next Gen Personal Finance. “The world of money is changing so fast and if we don’t help our children keep up, the next generation is going to repeat cycles of a lack of financial literacy.”
“It is never too early to start changing lives,” said Aimee Nadow, Teacher, Innovation Preparatory Academy. “We have lots of projects in our class that incorporate very important financial education and literacy and vocabulary that kids need to know. We have done a quick start budget, how to invest, students are learning a little about crypto and the real estate industry. I think this is very important and I am very excited to continue building the curriculum that we have and sharing that with other educators.”
This legislation builds on a long list of achievements in education that Florida has made since 2019:
- Florida has already risen to third in the nation, again, for K-12 education according to Education Week. Florida eradicated Common Core and did so by elevating the quality and alignment of learning opportunities through creating Florida’s B.E.S.T. (Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking) Standards.
- Governor DeSantis, Commissioner Richard Corcoran, and the Legislature have continually secured the highest ever K-12 public school and per-pupil spending totals in Florida’s history.
- Marking the last few years as “The Year of the Teacher,” Governor DeSantis has elevated Florida as one of the top states in the nation in terms of starting teacher pay by securing approximately $2 billion in pay increases and bonuses for teachers over the last three years.
- With Commissioner Corcoran, Governor DeSantis provided a roadmap to make Florida’s standards number one in the nation, streamlined testing, and massively invested in early learning, literacy, and civics education like no other state in the nation.
- Florida was the first state in the nation to reopen schools in August 2020 and guarantee families had an in-person instructional option five days a week.
Photos Credits: ABC Action News