Feb 11, 2023

Hot Start for Personal Finance Education Bills in 2023!

More bills regarding personal finance courses have been filed in state legislatures in the first 6 weeks of 2023 than in the entirety of 2022... which was a year that saw 6 new states add personal finance graduation requirements. Which states do you think will join them this year? NGPF's 2023 Financial Education Bill Tracker is your hub to track financial education bills as they make their way through state legislatures.

Summary: a blistering start for financial education in the 2023 Legislative Season!

As of writing, the 2023 NGPF Financial Education Bill Tracker shows 20 state legislatures have already introduced 71 bills to expand access to personal finance courses in 2023. See if your state is considering financial education bills, and follow their progress with the Bill Tracker!

Most bills are still in the early stages, but the sheer volume of bills filed - already outpacing all of 2022 - suggests lawmakers are catching on and stepping up! Personal Finance courses are growing in popularity because they are real-world-relevant, engaging for students from any background, and an absolutely necessary part of every high schooler's educational journey.

States with bills on the move

A number of bills have already been weaving their way through their respective state lawmaking processes:

  • Idaho - after Superintendent of Public Instruction Debbie Critchfield championed a Personal Finance & Economics requirement for the state, a bipartisan group of Representatives in the Idaho legislature now seeks to codify that requirement through House Bill 92. The bill passed unanimously in the House Education Committee on February 10th, and is headed for a floor vote in the House this upcoming week.
  • Indiana - Senator Mike Gaskill has authored Senate Bill 35, which now boasts 22 co-sponsors! If passed, SB35 would guarantee a standalone, one-semester personal finance course for all high schoolers by 2028. After succcessful Education Committee Hearings and 3 readings on the Senate Floor, the bill has already passed on the floor of the Senate in a roll call vote 47 - 2. It now goes on to the House for committee assignments and floor votes.
  • Illinois - Representative Curtis Tarver III has introduced House Bill 1375, which would also guarantee a standalone, one-semester personal finance course beginning with pupils entering the 9th grade in the 2024-2025 school year. The bill has a crucial Education Committee hearing scheduled for February 15th at 9:00am Central.
  • Vermont - Representative Stephanie Jerome, along with a large slate of co-sponsors from across the political spectrum, have introduced and held Education Committee hearings for House Bill 228, which proposes to require students in Vermont public schools to complete a course on personal finance as a condition of being awarded a high school diploma.
  • West Virginia - Delegate Carl Martin and ten co-sponsors have introduced House Bill 3113, which would guarantee that students take either a one semester or one year personal finance course prior to graduation in the state. The bill passed unanimously in a House Education Committee voice vote on February 8th, and will now go to the floor of the House.

Advocacy Highlights: inspiring testimony from teachers, students, a Personal Finance Specialist and NGPF Mission 2023 Fund's own Yanely Espinal!

Personal finance is more personal than it is finance, as these examples of powerful testimony in state legislatures exemplify.

  • Select Wednesday Jan 18, and start the video at 33:58 to watch Yanely Espinal, creator of @missbehelpful (and of course FinCap Friday current events videos!), shares her passion for financial education on behalf of NGPF's affiliated organization, Mission 2030 Fund. She relates her own story to the needs of young people today, and persuades the Indiana Senate Committee on Education and Career Development to move forward with SB35! 
  • Watch Susan Bistransin, Personal Finance Specialist for Prince George's County Schools, testify in the Maryland Senate Committee on Education, Energy, and the Environment (EEE) on February 8th. Susan's courageous - and, having taught the subject for 37 years, very qualified) voice has been instrumental in PG County and at the state level. Hear her testimony and 15 minute Q&A with lawmakers, all starting around 26:00 in this video!
  • Watch Personal Finance Teacher Courtney Poquette and her student Amira testify together in Vermont's Education Committee hearings last week. Start at 33:15 here for the beginning of Courtney's testimony. When Amira shares about how her mother is now using Ms. Poquette's budgeting templates to manage her own finances... what a reminder of a Personal Finance course's multi-generational impact! Go, Courtney and Amira!

Bills in the News

There has been a lot of media attention on financial education in the past few weeks! 

Check out all the buzz surrounding Indiana Senate Bill 35 (details below):

Vermont publications have launched several stories about the public support for financial education:

  • Crunching the Numbers: South Burlington students now required to take financial literacy class (WCAX, 2/2/23)
  • Vermonters endorse personal finance education: Poll finds overwhelming positive support; Civics education also important to residents (VTDigger, 1/18/23)
  • Vermonters strongly endorse personal finance education (Vermont Biz, 1/17/23)

Idaho's bill has been getting lots of media mentions:

Upcoming Hearings

  • Hawaii - Representative Cory Chun, along with 26 co-sponsors, has introduced House Bill 936. The bill would add personal finance instruction to the personal transition plan for all Hawaii high school students, and has been scheduled for a hearing this upcoming week. Details TBD on the Hawaii House of Representatives Calendar of Upcoming Hearings.
  • Illinois - Feb 15th, 9:00am Central Time.

Stay tuned to the 2023 NGPF Financial Education Bill Tracker and NGPF's award-winning Financial Education Advocacy Blog Series for updates on bills, new bill introductions, testimony highlights, and education policy news throughout 2023.

About the Author

Christian Sherrill

Former teacher, forever financial education nerd. As NGPF's Director of Growth & Advocacy, Christian is laser-focused on our mission to guarantee all students a rigorous personal finance course before crossing the high school graduation stage. Having paid down over $40k in student loans in the span of 3 years - while living in the Bay Area on an entry level teacher's salary - he's eager to help the next generation avoid financial pitfalls one semester at a time.

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