Students entering 9th grade in the 2023-24 school year will be required to take a financial literacy course to graduate, now that Gov. Ron DeSantis signed SB 1054 on Tuesday.
Under the new law, which takes effect July 1, schools must develop a curriculum for personal literacy and money management as an elective class. The course must include instruction on opening bank accounts, balancing a checkbook, money management, credit scores, personal debt, loan applications, federal income taxes and different types of investments.
The new law “is really providing a foundation for students that’s going to be applicable in their lives regardless of what path they take,” DeSantis said at a bill signing event at Innovation Preparatory Academy in Wesley Chapel. “If they go the university route, post-graduate, any of that, they’re still going to need these skills. If they go right into the workforce they’re still going to need these skills.”
DeSantis said Innovation Preparatory Academy was chosen because it has a “great financial literacy program.”
“We want to make sure that that’s something that’s available for all students,” he added.
The law is named the “Dorothy L. Hukill Financial Literacy Act” in honor of the late Sen. Dorothy Hukill.
Hukill hailed from Volusia County and championed financial literacy education as a House member from 2004 to 2012, and as a Senator from 2012 until she passed away from cancer in 2018. She sponsored several bills related to the issue and although bills to allow such courses to be taught were passed, the provision requiring the course to graduate never got through.
“(Sen. Hukill) was a classroom teacher and we’ve tried to pass this bill for nearly a decade now,” Senate President Wilton Simpson, a Trilby Republican, said at the event. “We’re finally glad that we’ve got this across the line.”
In the Legislature, the bill was sponsored by Sen. Travis Hutson, a St. Augustine Republican, and Rep. Demi Busatta Cabrera, a Coral Gables Republican. It received unanimous votes in each of its committee stops and on the floor of each chamber.