TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (11/21/14)--With support from the League of Southeastern Credit Unions, a bill requiring high school students to take a financial literacy course has once again been filed in the Florida Senate.
The legislation, which was filed by Sen. Dorothy Hukill (R-Port Orange), would reduce elective credits to seven-and-one-half from eight, beginning with students entering the ninth grade in the 2015-2016 school year. Instead, each student will be required to take one-half credit in personal financial literacy and money management.
"The league worked closely with the bill's sponsors on this legislation," Patrick La Pine, LSCU president/CEO, told News Now. "Credit unions have a long history of providing financial literacy to local schools. This legislation helps to take that a step further by making it a requirement. When the legislation passes, credit unions have an opportunity to help bridge the financial literacy gap for students."
Instruction and discussion will focus on types of accounts, how to balance a checkbook, loan applications, insurance policies, taxes and investments.
The LSCU said its governmental affairs team will continue to work closely with the bill sponsors and a coalition of advocacy partners for the legislation. The league will be guided by recommendations from a financial literacy task force made up of credit union representatives from across Florida.
The goals for the league-appointed task force are legislative advocacy, grassroots efforts and serving as resource for teachers and students. The task force will work to pass the legislation and serve as a resource during the implementation process.
By assisting in financial literacy efforts, credit unions can provide real-life examples of financial challenges that consumers face each day, said Heather Fitzenhagen (R-Fort Myers), one of the bill's co-sponsors.
Also, Hukill filed SR 106, a resolution recognizing April 2015 as Financial Literacy Month in Florida. LSCU is cited in the resolution for its efforts to teach financial literacy to as many people as possible through programs such as the National Endowment for Financial Education's High School Financial Planning Program, Biz Kid$, Money Mission, reality fairs, seminars and workshops.