• Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

California to add personal finance course as requirement to graduate high school

California high school students will soon be required to take a financial literacy course to graduate, thanks to a bill slated to be signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom soon.

AB 2927, sponsored by Democratic State Rep. Kevin McCarty and co-authored by a league of bipartisan lawmakers, requires students graduating in the class of 2030-2031 to take a semester-long personal finance course, meaning public high schools and charter schools will be required to offer the course beginning in the 2027-2028 school year.

“We need to help Californians prepare for their financial futures as early as possible. Saving for the future, making investments, and spending wisely are lifelong skills that young adults need to learn before they start their careers, not after,” Newsom said of the effort, per a press release from the Golden State’s official website.

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High school students will soon start learning about personal finance in California. (iStock)

The release indicated that Newsom, along with Senate President pro Tempore Mike McGuire, Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas and NGPF Mission 2030 – a national financial literacy nonprofit – agreed to make the content a requirement for high school graduates in the near future.

McCarty, commenting on the bill’s success, said he is “thrilled” to know the legislation will be signed into law.

“I’m proud to be the lead author on this important policy and help students make smart money decisions that will benefit them throughout their adult lives. I want to thank Next Gen Personal Finance, Governor Newsom, Speaker Rivas, and Senate President pro Tempore McGuire, for their leadership in making this happen,” he said, per ABC 10 in Sacramento.

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom

California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks at the Clinton Global Initiative, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022, in New York. Newsom is expected to sign the bill requiring a personal finance course for highschoolers. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

This comes as some findings, including data from a recent WalletHub survey, indicate Gen Z is the least financially confident generation, with 28% expressing a lack of confidence in their ability to manage money, along with a lack of budgeting and a skeptical attitude toward the possibility of homeownership at some point in their lives.

An EverFi survey released in 2022 and cited in ABC 10’s report similarly found that younger Americans are not confident financially, with only 10% of surveyed highschoolers saying they felt “prepared” or “very prepared” to “figure out the full costs of the colleges they were interested in attending.”

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Democratic State Sen. Kevin McCarty sponsored the bill to require high school students to learn personal finance to better prepare themselves for the future. (Fox News)

Less than half of highschoolers felt prepared to fill out the FAFSA – or the Free Application for Federal Student Aid – and only a third believed they could “read and understand loan offers,” the survey said.

Additional findings indicated that less than half of high school students felt confident that they understood how to read a paycheck or felt they could successfully “select, open, and manage” a savings or checking account.

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