Lawmaker tries to improve high school personal finance

1 year 2 months 2 days ago January 24, 2016 Jan 24, 2016 Sunday, January 24 2016 Sunday, January 24, 2016 1:55:00 PM CST in News
By: Kolbie Satterfield, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA - Missouri high school students could soon be learning ever more about personal finance. 

Incorporating a stand-alone personal finance class into statewide Missouri graduation requirements will be discussed Monday by the Missouri House Committee on Emerging Issues in Education. This will be the first time the potential bill will be heard by a committee.

As the current bill would stand, it would explemify the requirement students already have to complete a personal finance class before graduation. The bill would also alter the class to provide more detailed instruction and be based solely on personal fiance.

The potential bill would not allow classes relating to personal finance to take the place of a personal finance only class. Students would also not have the option to test out of completing the course based on their current proficiency. 

Rep. Mike Bernskoetter (R-Jefferson City) said the bill puts the class requirement into statute.

"It's an important step to take as we seek to provide young people with a foundational life skill that will remain relevant and useful for the rest of their lives," Bernskoetter said.

Currently students in Missouri must earn a half credit in the area of personal finance and are able to test out from doing so. Student's can currently receive personal finance credit through social studies or practical arts classes.

In a worldwide literacy survey, 57% of American adults are knowlegeable about finance literacy. Missouri is only one of five states to receive a financial literacy grade "A" from Champlain College's Center for Financial Literacy.

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