A new law requires North Carolina high school students to take a class in personal finance before they graduate.
The legislation will go into effect for all students starting the ninth grade in the 2020-2021 school year, according to The Dispatch. House Bill 924, which passed the North Carolina General Assembly back in June, makes it a requirement for students to take a class that teaches the nuances of credit, home mortgages, credit scoring, credit card management, borrowing money for large purchases and how to pay for post-secondary education, as well as many other financial literacy issues, the local news agency reported.
A 15-year-old study by the National Council on Economic Education found that 66 percent of high school students scored an "F" on basic money skills. Only 32 percent of those tested received an "A" grade.
More than half of the students surveyed said they had never received any financial education.
“All students are encouraged to take financial management courses, but they don’t necessarily take advantage of the opportunity," Mary Phillips, the instructional management coordinator for Career and Technical Education for Lexington City Schools, told The Dispatch. "With this being mandated by [the Department of Public Instruction], all students will have the opportunity to review skill sets and best practices for financial management. It will reach all students as opposed to it being a selected course.”
North Carolina becomes the 20th state to require high school students to take a financial literacy course in order to graduate, The Dispatch reported.
“We are preparing students to be ready for living and ready with skills to go to work, and finance is part of that," Phillips said.