RALEIGH, North Carolina — In North Carolina, House lawmakers are debating House Bill 924 which is a new legislation that would require high school students to take and pass a financial literacy course prior to earning their diploma.
The Senate passed their version of the bill earlier this week.
According to the bill’s language, at a “minimum,” the financial literacy course would require students learn about:
- The true cost of credit
- Choosing and managing a credit card
- Borrowing money for an automobile or other large purchase
- Home mortgages
- Credit scoring and credit reports
- Planning and paying for post-secondary education
- Other relevant financial literacy issues
“It’s important,” said Sandy Wheat who runs the North Carolina Council on Economic Education. “People don’t hear it and too many people graduate from the school of hard knocks where money is concerned.”
In April, Wheat taught a class on financial literacy designed to help people better manage their finances. “You have people who are immediately going into the workforce from high school,” she said. “They’re the most vulnerable and the people who need this education the most and the ones who aren’t getting it.”
Should legislation pass, freshman students entering into the 2020-2021 school year would be the first required class to take and pass the course.
“It’s imperative this day and age for kids just to be able to go to the workforce and go into adulthood just knowing how to manage their finances,” said Holly Springs parent Baxter Walker. “I do think it should be a mandatory class that would help to manage debt as they get older.”
Back in 2018, a Fort Bend ISD middle school teacher made it his goal to make sure his students were financially literate.
Shaun Thomas created an after-school program called “Invest In Yourself,” where his middle schoolers learn about credit card debt, retirement savings and how to set up their own savings accounts for college. Students even get stipends for those bank accounts.