The Kentucky General Assembly is considering legislation requiring high school students take a financial literacy course before graduation. The House Bill is now up for a vote in the Senate.
The requirement to educate public school students about money matters would begin with those entering the ninth grade in the fall of 2020. Elizabethtown High School Educator Alex Todd has been teaching a financial literacy elective course for two decades.
“What we have been expecting for the last 40-50 years is without the knowledge, they’re going to go out and behave responsibly. We have to come back and teach the knowledge and then the behavior will follow that,” said Todd.
Todd offered testimony before the Senate Education Committee last week. Also offering words of support was State Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt, who said it’s important to stop treating financial literacy as a privilege and start treating it as an essential skill.
Many Kentucky schools currently offer such a course as an elective. Bill Sponsor Jim Duplessis of Elizabethtown says it does allow for flexibility in how it’s taught. “They can have a curriculum class or they can incorporate it into other classes like a business class or a math class or probably an economics class or you can even do it through a junior achievement program as long as it meets the KDE’s curriculum standards,” explained Duplessis.
The House bill is before the Kentucky Senate.