There’s been an additional push to get personal finance education into secondary schools the nation over this year, following the Covid pandemic.
So far in 2021, 25 states in the U.S. have presented legislation that would add personal finance education to their high school curriculum, as indicated by Next Gen Personal Finance’s bill tracker.
Bills in Arkansas, Hawaii and Nebraska have been spent for the current year and signed into law. Bills in four additional states — Colorado, Nevada, Rhode Island and Texas — have passed and are anticipating lead representatives’ signatures.
“In recent years, I haven’t seen this many [bills] that have been significant and that have made it to the governor’s desk,” said Tim Ranzetta, co-founder of Next Gen Personal Finance, a personal finance education non-profit.
Seven states — Virginia, Alabama, Tennessee, Missouri, Utah, North Carolina and Mississippi — have what Next Gen Personal Finance refers to as the gold standard of personal finance education: a standalone half-semester course that spotlights on just personal finance. Past that, nearly 21 states require some personal finance education, yet say it very well may be joined into another course.
On the off chance that every one of the bills proposed for this present year pass, Nebraska and Rhode Island would join the gold ranks. Texas’ bill is close — it doesn’t need that the personal finance education be in an independent course.
The Covid pandemic has most certainly played a part in focusing light on the significance of personal finance education, because of the economic effect it had on the U.S.
Somewhat recently, closures to control the spread of Covid-19 prompted a huge number of Americans losing jobs or having hours and income cut, putting a huge strain on household finances. Indeed, even as the U.S. reopens and vaccinations tick up, it might require a very long time for those that were hit the hardest to recuperate, particularly on the off chance that they fell behind on bills and lease during the pandemic.
“There’s a sense that some folks are being left behind, and the pandemic kind of exacerbated some of those structural issues,” said Ranzetta. “And while financial education isn’t the silver bullet, or isn’t the panacea for those issues, it’s an important skill for young people to develop.”
This mirrors what occurred about 10 years prior, after the financial emergency. The states that were first to ensure personal finance courses in secondary school began their orders following the Great Recession, as indicated by Ranzetta.
Obviously, presenting a bill is only one step towards improving access to personal finance education. It can require months or even years for bills acquainted in the state legislature to make it to the governor’s desk for signature. Also, it’s conceivable that some of the bills presented for the current year will not make it that far, on the off chance that they don’t have the vital help.
Furthermore, all bills are not made equivalent, and the devil is in the details, as indicated by Ranzetta. Past the bill’s passage, how it’s carried out in schools and what support is given to teachers charged with leading the classes is significant.
“The success of implementation relies on the teacher being highly qualified and competent to teach the course,” he said.
But overall, the uptick in legislation presented is a decent indication of things to come.
“I don’t want to jinx things, but by all indications there’s several states where you’re going to see a significant increase in students getting access to financial education,” said Ranzetta.
Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.