During a busy week in late November for Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, he signed a bill that could make a huge difference to young adults. Not the one allowing hunting on Sundays, or even the one raising the tobacco age to 21.
I’m talking about House Bill 49 that will allow public school students to earn one credit towards graduation by taking financial literacy courses.
This bill, now law, amends section 1605 of the Public School Code of 1949, and also defines the duties of school security officers.
But my favorite part is Section 3, which adds a subsection to the code affecting students in grades 9 through 12. For the first time, completing of a course in personal finance can be part of their “social studies, family and consumer sciences, mathematics, or business education credit requirement for graduation.”
I am thrilled that the state is providing this incentive to expose students to concepts that they will turn to throughout their lives: understanding financial institutions, using money, learning to manage personal assets and liabilities, and creating budgets. This is knowledge they can use, that can keep them out of debt and solvent during the critical years of financial independence. Perhaps it will be a lesson they will remember when considering how to pay for college tuition and the risks of too many student loans.
My letter to the editor, printed in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on June 8, 2018, supported an editorial endorsing a bill to require money management classes for high school students. Read my letter here: http://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/letters/2018/06/08/Students-need-to-understand-basics-of-saving-and-borrowing/stories/201806070073
Now, if you will excuse me…. I have a personal finance curriculum to write.