I am a 30-year veteran of the Florida public school system, a leading educator in my district and a trainer of teachers from Pensacola to Miami. I strongly favor the passage of House Bill 367 and cannot imagine why a legislator would hesitate to champion this essential addition to the state curriculum.
HB 367 and its companion, 212, in the Florida Senate, call for mandating a 1/2-credit course in “Personal Finance” for graduation in our public schools. Financial literacy will separate those who succeed from those who fail in the 21st century — that is not an overstatement.
The addition will require some personnel changes at the school centers, as any challenge to the status quo would. But the small disruption that may occur is insignificant to the life skills this course of study can provide.
In addition, the cost of bringing it to the districts is nominal, with so many no-cost curriculum options out there and well-respected organizations ready to train the teachers.
At this moment, our most talented students are gearing up for college without any idea on how to manage the complicated world of personal finance. There is a great chance that four years from now they’ll exit college with mountains of debt, turning great portions of their first paychecks over to creditors.
Let’s start giving our students the skills to navigate in the wilderness before we set them free.
Please demand that this important legislation have the attention it deserves. It will go down as a shining moment when we reflect on the legacy of our leadership at the state capitol.