Georgia Governor Brian Kemp makes remarks during a visit to the Adventure Outdoors gun shop as he pushes for a new state law to ease requirements for carrying handguns in public, in Smyrna, Georgia, Jan. 5, 2022.
ELISA indicator | Reuters
High school students in Georgia will soon have guaranteed access to a pre-graduation personal finance course.
On Thursday, Republican Governor Brian Kemp signed into law SB 220, a bill requiring personal finance lessons for high school students. Starting in the 2024-2025 school year, all 11th and 12th graders will need to take a course with at least half credit in financial literacy prior to graduation.
The measure ‘will ensure that [students] Learn financial literacy in our schools, such as the importance of good credit and how to budget properly so that they can better prepare for the world outside of the classroom,” Kemp said during the signing ceremony.
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Georgia is the 13th state to mandate personal financial education for its students, according to Next Gen Personal Finance, which tracks such bills.
It’s the latest in a growing fashion One of the countries that add personal finance education. In the past 12 months, Florida, Nebraska, Ohio, and Rhode Island have passed similar laws and are in the process of implementing them for all students.
Once the Georgia bill is implemented, it means that more than 35% of students in the US will be able to take financial literacy classes. That’s more than double the proportion of students who gained access to such courses in 2018, according to Next Gen Personal Finance.
Having laws that require personal finance education is important to ensure that students have equal opportunities. There are high schools offering personal finance courses in states without mandates, but access is not equal, according to a recent report from the nonprofit.
Only 10% of students in states that do not have guaranteed access to personal finance can take such a course. This quota drops to 1 in 20 in schools where 75% of students are not white or receive free and reduced lunch.
What country might you be next
There are still a few states with pending legislation that may pass later in the year.
South Carolina, for example, currently has a bill on the convention committee. Now that the Georgia legislation is in place, South Carolina is the only state in the Southeast that has not mandated personal financing cycles, according to Tim Ranzita, co-founder of Next Gen Personal Finance.