New Bill Aims to Increase Financial Literacy Among Florida Students
Published February 25th, 2014
GAINESVILLE -- With studies showing nearly half of all students in Florida lacking basic money managing skills, legislators in Tallahassee have filed a new bill designed to improve students' knowledge of basic finance.
House Bill 367 would require every high school student to take what's being called a "financial literacy" course before graduating.
This comes after a study by the state Council on Economic Education found that almost half of all high school seniors in Florida lack a basic understanding of common financial issues.
"I was fortunate, I had some parents who taught me some basics about finances," said State Representative Keith Perry, R-Gainesville, who supports the bill. "I did get a basic understanding of that [from my parents]. I didn't get that in school."
But Karen McCann, president of the Alachua County Education Association, says the lack of financial classes can be attributed to the state's recent push to focus on FCAT testing.
"Currently, a lot of the life-skills type classes, where you learn about money management, have been done away with because the focus now is on teaching FCAT reading skills," said McCann, who says she is neither for nor against the bill as it stands right now.
Since the bill was filed last week, a number of issues still have to be worked out, including which teachers will be allowed to teach the course and how they will be certified.
The annual 60-day legislative session will begin on March 4.
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