Michigan officially becomes 14th state to mandate personal finance education before high school graduation

courtesy of CNBC On October 8, 2020, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer will deliver a speech in Lansing, Michigan.

Michigan has become the 14th state in the United States to mandate that students have access to a personal finance education course prior to graduation from high school.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation on Thursday that requires students to take personal finance classes. The legislation passed both houses of the state legislature with bipartisan support prior to its passage in the House of Representatives.

‘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 in a Thursday statement.

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She went on to say, “I am proud to sign this bipartisan bill requiring all public school students to take a personal finance course. When it comes to money, “every young Michigander deserves to know how to manage their finances wisely so they can get off to a great start after high school, whether they go to college or start a career.”

According to Rep. Diana Farrington, R-Utica, a co-sponsor of the bill, having this course requirement will help prepare Michigan students for success in adulthood.

Students will “fly to new heights” thanks to a more comprehensive education, she said in a statement. “Establishing a core class dedicated to financial literacy has been a years-long labor of love for me,” she said.

A half-credit course is now mandated by the new law in Michigan.

A half-credit personal finance course is mandated by law for all high school students in Michigan. Local school boards can decide whether or not this course counts as a math, arts, language, or language other than English requirement.

New eighth-graders will be subject to the new law starting in the 2023-24 school year.

In December, Michigan’s House of Representatives passed the legislation 57-43. In May, it passed the Senate after being revised and resent back to the House. Before it could be sent to the governor, the bill had to be re-voted on by the House of Representatives due to changes.

In addition to the Michigan Bankers Association, the Michigan Credit Union League, and the Michigan Council for Economic Education, the legislation was supported. It was also supported by both Oakland Schools and the Wayne County Regional Educational Service Agency, two of the state’s largest school districts.

“All can agree” on the importance of personal finance education, says the narrator.

This is the most recent piece of legislation to receive such broad bipartisan support. Florida and Georgia enacted similar legislation earlier this year, ensuring that all students have access to a personal finance course.

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

Personal finance education is becoming increasingly mandated by state legislatures. According to Next Gen Personal Finance’s 2022 State of Financial Education report, 25 percent of high school students had access to financial literacy courses this year.

According to the research, more than 33% of students will be guaranteed a personal finance course once states that recently passed bills implement their legislation.

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