How Schools Can Fulfill A New Graduation Requirement: Financial Literacy

Chelsea Penney
April 11, 2024

“The number one problem in today’s generation and economy is the lack of financial literacy.” – Alan Greenspan, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve

Graduation requirements are ever-changing to ensure students receive a well-rounded education. One of the recent additions to many states is financial literacy and/or personal finance. School districts are now required to develop a financial literacy curriculum and hire a certified teacher to instruct the course -- a difficult task amidst the growing teacher shortage crisis.

The latest education legislation

It’s not just one or two -- forty-one states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia have pending legislation requiring financial literacy before graduation. With expanding requirements, you can skip the extra legwork and give your students a head start with Proximity Learning’s new Financial Literacy course. 

One California superintendent is sponsoring a bill in the CA legislature. He explains, “Young Californians are entering the workforce and higher education with very little understanding of financial literacy. This is deeply concerning since students with higher financial literacy are more likely to invest in a savings account, prepare for retirement, and manage their debt,” Superintendent Thurmond said. “Access to financial literacy is also an equity issue that is directly reflected through racial wealth gaps. Only 27 percent of California high school students attend schools that offer personal finance classes. Ensuring that all young Californians have exposure to financial literacy is a vital step in closing inequality gaps and providing the skills and resources to improve their lives overall.” All students deserve access to personal finance courses.

What are the benefits of learning financial literacy in high school?

We all want students to be financially independent and stable coming out of high school, but those skills don’t develop without education and practice. That’s where financial literacy courses come in. 

Students need to take away real-life, durable skills from high school. Beyond the academic theories, students can benefit from developing a practical understanding of budgeting, saving, investing, and debt management to help them as they venture out on their own. 

At 18 years old, graduating students must navigate financial aid, student loans, credit card applications, and housing costs on top of adjusting to life outside of high school. Without proper preparation, students are left making poor choices with lifelong consequences. 

Student debt can be crippling to young graduates and sometimes lasts much of their careers. Financial literacy arms students with context that can help them make informed decisions.

Additionally, students will master everyday activities like budgeting and be introduced to possible complications like credit theft. They will learn about the benefits of insurance and investing. Knowing how to navigate these differing situations sets them up for success at a young age. It brings theoretical economics into perspective because it applies to their lives. 

The National Financial Educators Council states, “The research-backed benefits of financial education include having less debt, being able to manage household finances more skillfully, making well-informed investment decisions that will produce higher personal net worth, and a myriad of other habits that promote a happier life.”

Increase students’ confidence in their financial decisions by educating them on their choices. 

Financial Literacy Course Description

Financial Literacy is designed to introduce students to basic financial literacy skills to help them make responsible financial decisions. Concepts covered include financial planning, bank accounts, credit and loans, wages and taxes, investments, and insurance. Students will gain the information and skills to implement a life-long plan for financial success.

Scope and sequence may include: 

  • Professional Standards
  • Financial Institutions and Types of Accounts
  • Credit and Identity Theft
  • Housing Costs
  • Vehicles: Comparing and Analyzing Costs
  • Connect Accounting Procedures to Real World Experiences
  • Compensation, Benefits, and Taxes
  • Financial Investment Options
  • Budgets

The scope and sequence is customizable to meet each state’s requirements. Easily add this course to your catalog with Proximity Learning’s curriculum and certified teacher. 

About Proximity Learning

Proximity Learning’s synchronous instruction is always led by a certified teacher, giving your students access to the expert teacher they deserve. Our live virtual approach engages students with customized curriculum to meet your district’s needs. 

Contact us to add financial literacy to your course offerings today!

about the author
Chelsea Penney

Chelsea Penney earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Writing from University of Colorado Denver and her Masters of Science in Marketing from Texas A&M University Commerce. She loves living in Austin, TX and working on the frontline as Content Marketing Manager for Proximity Learning.

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