(The Center Square) – An Indiana lawmaker wants high school students to learn an important life skill before they graduate.
State Assemblyman Dave Hall, R-Norman, has tabled House bill 1281which would require students in the state’s public, private, and charter high schools to pass a financial literacy course before graduating.
The course would cover subjects such as managing bank accounts, proper spending and saving techniques, credit management and completing such paperwork for loans and tax returns.
“Basic financial knowledge and skills, like creating a budget, using a credit card, or applying for a loan, are key components of being a successful adult,” Hall said. “Equipping young adults with a basic understanding of money management will help them avoid potential pitfalls and lead much more productive and successful lives.”
If passed, the law would go into effect for the senior class of 2027, who will be freshmen entering high school in the fall.
After Next generation personal financeless than a quarter of students graduating from high school in 2022 took a personal finance or financial literacy course before graduation.
Such a class was required in only eight states last year. However, that number is set to nearly double as seven states have since passed legislation making it a mandatory part of the curriculum. These include Ohio and Michigan.
Last June, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a bill into law that goes into effect in 2024 for ninth graders. In November 2021, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine approved a bill mandating the course in his state, with students beginning the course by the Class of 2025.
Indiana already has a personal finance requirement for students. A 2009 law requires students to achieve a national financial literacy standard by the time they graduate. However, this could be achieved if the school held a seminar, according to the American Public Education Foundation.
In The nation’s testimony to financial literacythe foundation gave the Hoosier State a B grade.
“Indiana could improve its grade to an “A” by incorporating Financial Literacy Education High School standards into a required standalone personal finance course,” the foundation said in its 2021 report.
Hall isn’t the only Hoosier lawmaker who wants the state’s high school students to pass a financial education course. State Representative Martin Carbaugh, R-Fort Wayne, and Deputy Majority Chair Joanna King, R-Middlebury, have tabled similar bills in the House of Representatives, as has Deputy Majority Chair Mike Gaskill, R-Pendleton, in the Senate.