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Florida bill would require high school students to take finance class

High school students may soon be required to take a class in personal finance.

FLORIDA, USA — High school students have to pass classes in reading, writing and math to graduate.

Some of the smartest students start their careers with a basic understanding of algebra or even calculus, but they have no idea how to manage personal finances. It includes topics like saving, investing and even how a basic loan works.

Several Florida senators are hoping to pass Senate Bill 114 also known as the Dorothy Hukill Financial Literacy Act.

It would revise the required credits for a standard high school diploma to include one-half credit of instruction in personal financial literacy and money management.

Related: Florida bill requires money management class before high school graduation

Previous: Arizona bill would make personal finance lesson a requirement for high school students

At Northeast High School in St Petersburg, they have their own working Achieva Credit Union branch where students do all the jobs. This is not unusual in the Tampa Bay area. A number of high schools are offering personal finance as an elective.

If the Senate bill passes, it would no longer be a choice for students. They’d be required to take a finance class to graduate.

Gregg Murset is a Certified Financial Planner and CEO of an app that helps kids learn these basic lessons. He says this is step in the right direction for Florida, but it’s not enough.

"I don’t quite understand why we’re so late to this party and I think late is the operative word because I think high school is actually too late," Murset said. "I think we need to do this in elementary and middle school because that's where kids can really learn the fundamentals and then start applying it to their lives."

Murset's app Busy Kid lays out jobs for kids to do. Once completed, it allows a parent to pay them. Then they can decide how to spend, save and invest the money. It’s all done with real money, but electronically.

Murset says kids as young as 5 or 6 years old can start understanding these concepts. He says they have a much better understanding of how money works.

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