Lifestyle & Human Interest

New Bill Would Require Teens To Learn Money Management Before Graduation


Money matters, and it matters more than you may think. Fiscal habits touch everything from your personal welfare to romantic relationships.

According to a 2015 study by SunTrust, nearly half of individuals say their spending habits aren’t the same as those of their mate. Money woes were also cited as the primary cause of relationship strain.

It’s not that managing money on its own is so incredibly difficult. After all, in the novel “David Copperfield,” Charles Dickens’ famous clerk Wilkins Micawber laid out a recipe for fiscal success.

“Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen [pounds] nineteen [shillings] and six [pence], result happiness,” he said. “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.”

The idea is simple: Spend less than you make. But people have struggled so much in putting that advice into practice that the state of Florida is considering implementing a financial-education requirement for high school students.

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The Tampa Bay Times reported that the bill was the brainchild of state Sen. Dorothy Hukill. The Port Orange, Florida, Republican tried for multiple years to get the legislation passed.

However, she was never successful. Her last attempt in 2018 failed after the legislature insisted that her proposed financial-literacy class become an elective rather than a requirement for graduation.

“There were some concerns that we would be putting a mandate on school systems,” she said. “The only way it was able to get the traction necessary to get to the floor was for it to become a permissive course. …

“It’s a disappointment. But I’m a patient woman at this point.”

Do you think high school students should be required to take a financial management course?

However, Hukill would never see the requirement enacted. According to the Tampa Bay Times, she died from cancer in 2018.

That didn’t mean her dream perished with her, though. Bill co-sponsor Travis Hutson has continued to champion the bill.

What exactly would the class entail? Well, it would become a requirement for ninth grade students.

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It would require students to study subjects such as investments, income-tax returns and how to contest a bill. Interestingly, multiple students have stated that such a class would significantly help them.

According to the New York Daily News, the bill states, “Many young people in this state graduate from high school without having basic financial literacy or money management skills. Requiring educational instruction in financial literacy and money management as a prerequisite to high school graduation will better prepare young people in this state for adulthood by providing them with the requisite knowledge to achieve financial stability and independence.”

KPIX added that legislators plan to vote on the bill in March. What’s more, five other states require students to study financial matters prior to graduating.

What do you think? Is such a requirement a good idea?

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A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine.
A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine. Most days find him crafting copy for corporate and small-business clients, but he also occasionally indulges in creative writing. His short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines. Loren currently lives in south Florida with his wife and three children.
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