Note: Be sure to check out our overview of the national financial literacy and education standards, too!
From daily necessities like food and transport to long-term goals such as car and home purchases, everything costs money. With a solid foundation in money management, you’re better suited to build wealth, afford your dreams, and handle financial emergencies. However, young people still struggle with financial literacy.
According to Greenlight, three in four American teenagers don’t trust their grasp of personal finance. The good news is young people are more receptive to financial literacy, with 73% of respondents seeking money management guidance. At the same time, various states are introducing financial literacy to the student curriculum. One of them is Florida which recently passed Senate Bill 1054.
Understanding Florida’s Financial Literacy Bill
This law mandates financial literacy education as a requirement for graduating high school. Otherwise called the Dorothy L. Hukill Financial Literacy Act, the legislation borrows its name from Dorothy Hukill, a former Republican senator who championed financial literacy in Florida schools.
This bill first emerged in November 2021 before passing the Senate and House of Representatives in March of the following year. Governor Ron DeSantis would later sign Senate Bill 1054 into law, adding financial literacy education to the requirements of a high school diploma.
Because it takes effect from the 2023-2024 academic year, the law doesn’t affect current high school students. As such, the 2023 freshman class becomes the first to need one-half credit in personal finance education before graduation. This means every Florida student who leaves high school in 2027 will graduate with personal finance skills for the real world.
What Does the Course Entail?
According to the financial literacy bill, students should cover the following topics:
- Local tax evaluation
- Federal income tax calculations
- Personal insurance policies
- State and federal financial laws
- Bank account categories, setting up and managing bank accounts, and evaluating depository services
- Saving and investment
- Money management basics such as credit scores, debt administration, and spending
- Checkbook balancing
- Loan application
- Receiving an inheritance
- Contesting billing statement errors
- Interest rate computations
How to Teach Financial Literacy
Besides familiarizing yourself with the curriculum, here are some tips to successfully teach financial literacy.
Don’t rush your students. Like anyone else, students have different learning speeds and styles—some people grasp concepts faster than others.
As a teacher, your job is to build a relationship with your students to make them comfortable enough to ask questions. Tutors should also be resilient–teach their learners how to persist in their goals no matter their academic capabilities.
Involve Financial Experts
You may understand monetary concepts, but your students need real-life experiences to know how decisions affect businesses and individual investors. For starters, experts offer connections to students interested in the financial sector. Financial professionals offer guidance on career opportunities and other work-related information concerning the learner’s future. Feel free to invite investment advisors, tax professionals, credit counselors, and financial planners to mentor your high school students. These experts also offer in-depth financial knowledge beyond the curriculum’s specifications.
Work With Parents
Besides strengthening family relationships, involving parents in their children’s financial education creates bonding opportunities. Learning activities also emphasize shared goals while creating a sense of accountability. Additionally, financial literacy prepares students for adulthood—teens should manage their money independently of teachers and parents. Parent-teacher collaboration also ensures consistency to prevent miscommunication about financial concepts. Moreover, students learn outside the classroom. Financial education is continuous and shouldn’t end at school.
How Does the State Benefit?
Florida’s financial literacy bill isn’t just for high school students—the state also benefits. For starters, the course molds financially responsible citizens, reducing loan defaults to boost economic stability. Likewise, workers are productive since they worry less about their finances. The state also reports lower unemployment levels since citizens are better equipped to find and keep jobs.
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And check out our white paper: “Strategies for Increasing Financial Literacy Rates Among High School and College Students”
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