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Financial Literacy May Take the Place of a High School Elective Course

November 8th, 2017 by Jake Stofan
Beginning in the fall of 2018 Florida high school students may have a new class requirement… financially literacy.
A 2016 study found nearly two-thirds of Americans can’t calculate interest. The number has been on the rise since at least 2009.
“We want to provide our students with financial management skills,” said Senator Dorothy Hukill.
 Hukill is sponsoring legislation requiring all high school students to pass a semester long course.
It wold teach skills like balancing a checkbook and determining interest.
“We want to give them the real world skills so they don’t get deep in debt, that they don’t make decisions that are going to affect them for the rest of their lives and affect them negatively,” said Hukill.
Seventeen other states require a similar course.
The bill passed a Senate committee unanimously, but the are concerns.
Some lawmakers worry the bill continues a trend of cramming more curriculum into a school year they already consider too short.
“We’re still stuck on a 180 day school year, basically 7 hours a day,” said Senator Bill Montford.
Montford, a former superintendent, says lawmakers will eventually have to take a serious look at lengthening the school day or even school year
The Financial literacy course would take the place of an elective course, leaving one less opportunity for students to take arts or fitness classes.
“It’s a simple matter. The more we require for graduation, the less options there are for electives,” said Montford.
Schools Boards say they can’t effort the cost of the course, estimated at between $130,000 and $8.8 million without state help.

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