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Michigan On Path To Joining Growing Number of States Requiring Personal Finance Course In High Schools

More and more states are mandating that financial literacy be a focus in public schools. Michigan is on its way to being the 14th state to pass a bill requiring high school students to pass a personal finance course before they graduate.

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Several states recognize the need for such a course. Just four in seven Americans can be considered “financially literate,” and only 24 percent of millennials understand basic financial concepts, Forbes reported.

In a vote of 94-13, the Michigan House of Representatives approved a plan to educate high school students in the state on managing their finances. In May, the bill passed the state’s Senate with a vote of 35-2. 

Under HB 5190 all Michigan high schools will be instructed in personal finance classes beginning with students who enter the ninth grade in 2024, WILX reported. 

The bill will require that all high school students take a half-credit course in personal finance before they graduate. It will be at the discretion of local school boards as to how to count the course, which can be counted as a math, arts, language, or language other than English requirement, CNBC reported.

After passing in both the Michigan State House and Senate, the bill now lands on the desk of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to sign into law.

High school students in Michigan will soon be guaranteed a personal finance course before graduating.

“At the most fundamental level, a high school education must prepare students for adult life,” bill co-sponsor Rep. Diana Farrington, a Republican representing Utica, said in a statement.

“Personal finance should be part of that educational preparation,” she added. “A financial literacy class will familiarize students with key financial concepts, helping them understand how to handle their personal budgets.”

The Michigan Bankers Association, Michigan Credit Union League, and the Michigan Council for Economic Education are among the supporters of the legislation.

Earlier this year, both Florida and Georgia passed similar laws.

“In an era of polarization, this seems to be something all can agree on,” said Tim Ranzetta, co-founder of Next Gen Personal Finance. 

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