Aug 01, 2022

Advocacy Summary: Financial Education Laws Passed in Last 12 Months Will Double The Number of HS Students Guaranteed to Take A Personal Finance Course

UPDATE: the 2023 Financial Education Bill Tracker from Next Gen Personal Finance provides daily updates on which state legislatures have introduced financial education bills for grades K-12 throughout 2023.

What would you call a year when states sign laws which, in future years, will guarantee a one semester personal finance course to close to 20% of the U.S. high school population?

How about the best year ever! To put that in perspective, that is almost a doubling in just the past year. Once these course guarantees have been implemented, 40% of high school students will be covered. 

Here are the states in the last 12 months that have guaranteed future high schoolers will benefit from a personal finance course, in the order by which the bills were signed into law (parens is percent of high school population in that state): 

In addition, three states passed significant funding bills that invest in personal finance teacher professional development: 

  • Washington state
  • California
  • Massachusetts

Overall, there were 69 bills introduced in 27 states that focused on financial education in the 2022 legislative session (see the details in the NGPF BillTracker). Almost all of the bills would have increased access to this essential course. This is what a movement looks like! it's being driven at the grassroots by passionate educators, students, admins, school board members and parents. State legislators, treasurers, commissioners of education, district leaders, governors, non-profit leaders and business groups have been making it happen at the state level.

As I reflect on the past year, I'm so inspired by the financial education community; from the teachers investing countless hours in PD to be the best they can be with their students, to the students who provided such compelling testimony to legislators about the impact of the course, to all those who took precious time to reach out to state leaders to tell their story about the importance of this essential course, to the bill sponsors whose persistence kept the bills alive, to the strangers I met in my travels who consistently told me "It's a class I wish I had." Let's make current high schoolers the first generation who can say "It's the most important class I DID HAVE." 35 states to go! 

About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

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