Michigan students would be required to pass personal finance class under new bill

If approved, students would have to learn about earning, spending, borrowing, saving and investing money
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Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 12:54 PM CDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - Michigan lawmakers are considering a change to high school curriculum by requiring students to complete a personal finance course before graduation.

The House Committee on Education heard testimony about House Bill 5190, which would mandate all students pass a half-credit financial literacy class to graduate. It would cover topics like earning, spending, borrowing, saving and investing money.

“Michigan schools have an obligation to prepare students for success after graduation,” said Republican State Rep. Diana Farrington of Utica. “Personal finance is one of life’s most important responsibilities as graduates move into adulthood, but our curriculum has neglected to prepare our young people to manage their resources wisely.”

Students in public and charter high schools currently must take a course in economics, which can be substituted with a personal finance class. Farrington’s bill would remove the option and require both an economics and personal finance course.

To make way for the addition of a personal finance class, Farrington proposed reducing the requirement for learning a language other than English from two credits down to 1.5 credits.

The House Committee on Education has not voted on the personal finance class bill. It would have to pass there, in the full House and the Senate before Gov. Gretchen Whitmer could consider signing it into law.

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