A bill in the Florida Legislative Session that would require high school students to take a half-hour elective credit focused on financial literacy and money management to graduate has passed.

It’s an education initiative to address what the analysis for House Bill 1115 needs for an updated core curriculum. The bill text says the legislation is intended to fill a gap in education.

HB 1115’s text said sound financial management skills are vitally important to all Floridians, but focuses on the needs of the state’s high school students. The bill is named after a former legislator, and is called the “Dorothy L. Hukill Financial Literacy Act.” Hukill was a former state senator from Volusia County who died in 2018 from complications due to cervical cancer. She was a former educator and lawyer.

Topics for the financial education curriculum would cover how to open and manage a bank account and what types of accounts are offered, and how to assess the quality of a depository institution’s services.

Additionally, students would learn how to balance a checkbook, the basic principles of money management to include “spending, credit, credit scores and managing debt, including retail and credit card debt,” how to fill out a loan application, what it means to receive an inheritance and its related implications, the basic principles of personal insurance policies, how to calculate federal income taxes, local tax assessments, how to compute interest rates, how to engage in “simple contracts,” how to contest incorrect billing statements, the different types of savings and investment accounts, and basic knowledge of state and federal finance laws.

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