Should financial literacy be a requirement in school curriculums?
Michigan recently became the 14th state in the U.S. to mandate high schoolers to take a half-credit finance education course before graduating. This mandate was put into effect by the HB 5190 bill signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer just last week.
“As a mom, I want every kid who graduates in Michigan to enter the world with a diverse set of skills and knowledge, and that must include financial literacy,” said Whitmer.
Along with Michigan; Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah and Virginia all require high school students to take personal finance courses.
According to a survey conducted by Next Gen Personal Finance, 22.7% of US high school students will have guaranteed access to a personal finance course. An additional 48.2% of students in 2022 have access to one either as an elective or as a possible option to fulfill a graduation requirement. Only 4.87% have no access to any financial education in any of their courses.
In non-guaranty states, personal finance courses were least likely to be available in city areas with only 1 in 20 receiving personal financial education. In rural areas, that figure increased to 1 in 7. The numbers also fluctuate based upon the schism in location, race, and socioeconomic status.
The importance of financial education early on can’t be overstated as the benefits of it seem to wane into adulthood, almost to zero.
According to Mariel Beasley, principal at the Center for Advanced Hindsight at Duke University and Co-Director of the Common Cents Lab (CCL), “Content-based financial education classes [for adults] only accounted for .1 percent variation in financial behavior.” She added, “We like to joke that it’s not zero but it’s very, very close.”Last modified: June 24, 2022
Anaya Vance is a reporter for deBanked. Connect with me on LinkedIn.