Florida became the largest and latest state to require high school students to take a financial literacy course before they can receive a diploma.
Gov. Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill 1054, titled the Dorothy L. Hukill Financial Literacy Act, into law on March 22. 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.
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. The bill's backers said the requirement will help prepare students by providing them with the knowledge to achieve financial stability and independence.
Florida is one of 38 states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, that either enacted financial literacy legislation or have a similar bill under consideration since 1921, according to the National Council of State Legislatures.
Here are some examples, taken from the NCSL's website:
Alabama enacted legislation requiring financial literacy for student-athletes who earn compensation for the use of the athlete's name, image or likeness.
Arizona removed the termination date for the state seal of personal finance proficiency program.
Arkansas required the division of higher education to develop an asynchronous module on the concepts of personal finance and macroeconomics for distribution to students enrolled in institutions of higher education.
Hawaii adopted resolutions urging the department of education to coordinate with the department of commerce and consumer affairs to implement a graduation requirement of at least a half credit in financial literacy during the junior year or senior year.
Illinois provided that of the two years of social studies required to receive a high school diploma, one semester, or part of one semester, may include a financial literacy course beginning with pupils entering the ninth grade in the 2021-2022 school year and each school year thereafter.
Nebraska adopted the Financial Literacy Act, providing a graduation requirement, changing duties relating to academic content standards, harmonizing provisions and repealing the original sections.
New York required that the department of financial services website provide information to enhance consumer financial literacy and consumer awareness which shall include information on basic banking and personal financial management, how credit scores are determined and ways to establish good credit, options for investing and increasing savings, best practices for protecting personal information, and any other topics deemed appropriate by the superintendent.
Tennessee extended the Tennessee financial literacy commission to June 30, 2027.
Virginia added to objectives developed and approved by the Board of Education for economics education and financial literacy at the middle and high school levels. Michigan and Rhode Island declared April 2021 as Financial Literacy Month.