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Michigan soon to become the 14th state to mandate personal finance education

High school students in Michigan will have guaranteed access to a personal finance course before they graduate.

On Thursday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed HB 5190 after the Michigan House of Representatives passed the bill by a vote of 94-13 on Tuesday. In May, the bill was passed by the state’s Senate with a vote of 35-2. 

As Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed the bill into law, Michigan has become the 14th state to mandate personal finance education for its student. 

“At the most fundamental level, a high school education must prepare students for adult life. Personal finance should be part of that educational preparation. A financial literacy class will familiarize students with key financial concepts, helping them understand how to handle their personal budgets.” said Rep. Diana Farrington, a sponsor of the bill.

Now high school students in Michigan will take a half-credit course in personal finance before they graduate. It will come into effect for students starting eighth grade in the 2023 school year. 

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Oakland Schools and the Wayne County Regional Educational Service Agency, two of the largest school districts in Michigan, had supported the bill. Michigan Bankers Association, Michigan Credit Union League, and the Michigan Council for Economic Education also supported the bill. 

Once Michigan’s bill is implanted, it will become the latest in a growing trend of states adding personal finance education. In the last 12 months, Georgia, Florida, Nebraska, Ohio, and Rhode Island have passed similar laws and are in the process of implementing them for all students.

There are still a few states like South Carolina, Minnesota, and New Hampshire with pending legislation that may be passed in the coming months. 

According to a survey from the National Endowment for Financial Education, 90% of adults said they support having a personal finance course required in schools. And 80% of those surveyed said that they wish they had been required to take a personal finance course to graduate.

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"Budgeting has only one rule: Do not go over budget."

Leslie Tayne

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