Push for financial literacy courses advances

Legislation requiring students to take a single half-credit course in personal finance to graduate from a Minnesota high school was heard in the Education Committee this week. This bill will amend the state’s graduation requirements and cut elective credits from 7 to 6.5. If passed, it would be effective for the 2020-21 school year.

There has been a recent push for a personal finance requirement. School districts often push back on the requirement because officials say students are already constrained by state requirements. Proponents of the bill say that with online purchasing, bill payment and online banking options, students no longer get the personal financial discussions at home as they did 50 years ago. Yonah Davis, a St. Louis Park High School senior told the committee that the class was a “valuable and applicable course.”

At the same time, many young people struggle with taking on debt, saving money, and balancing checking accounts. Proponents argue that high school is the perfect time and place to set Minnesota’s students on the right financial path. (S.F. 19)