Bad news for California residents, the Golden State is one of the 43 states that do not require students to take a personal finance course to graduate from high school, according to the survey released on June 13, 2007 by the National Council on Economic Education (NCEE).
The good news is that the number of states requiring students to take personal finance course/exam has increased from one since 1998 and from four since 2002. Still, a very small percentage compared to the number of states in America.
NCEE is a nonprofit organization that focuses on improving economic, financial, and entrepreneurship literacy. Every year, the organization conducts a survey to determine the 50 states performance when it comes to promoting financial literacy to the American students ranging from kindergarten to high school. The states fared a little better when it comes to offering Economics courses than the Personal Finance courses and Entrepreneurship classes. However, lots of improvement are still needed for most states.
There are five topics that the survey covers:
- Whether the state offers some standards from K-12.
- Whether standards are required to be implemented from K-12
- Whether courses are required to be offered from K-12.
- Whether courses are required with enrollment in high school.
- Whether students are required testing before they graduate in high school
Here is a quick summary of their findings:
For Personal finance, a newer subject in comparison with Economics, is now included, to at least some extent, in the educational standards of 40 states (up from 34 in 2004 and 21 in 1998)
28 states (up from 20 in 2004 and 14 in 1998), now require these standards to be implemented.
Still, however, only 7 states require students to take a Personal Finance course as a high school graduation requirement (up from 6 in 2004 and 1 in 1998, and only 9 states require the testing of student knowledge in Personal Finance(PF) (up from 8 states in 2004 and 1 in 1998)
There are only four states that covers at least four survey topics: Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana.
The 9 states that require the testing of student knowledge in PF: Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachussetts, Missouri, Oregon, Virginia.
Personal finance education is becoming increasingly relevant as more individuals are called upon to take on a bigger responsibility for their own retirement, and are faced with numerous decisions about their finances such as mortgages, student loans, credit cards, insurance, etc.
Source: marketwatch.com news