New law shifts financial literacy education to grades 10-12 in Oklahoma schools

KTUL - May 14, 2024 5:41 am

Preparing teenagers for the real world.

We’re talking about financial literacy in schools.

Before this week, students were already required to take a financial literacy course sometime between 7th and 12th grade, but a new law that was signed on Monday would narrow down this timeframe, making it more relevant to students.

“We felt like the 7th, 8th, and 9th grade students probably weren’t ready to learn about financial literacy. So this bill changes it 10th, 11th, and 12th grade of when they’d be taught,” said Representative Dick Lowe who authored Senate Bill 2158 which was signed into law on Monday.

He says this law would ensure that students are getting a financial literacy education at a time that’s closer to when they would be out in the real world and having to use that financial literacy education.

This bill also updates what’s being taught in the required financial literacy course.

“One piece of the legislation talks about balancing a checkbook. Most of us probably don’t do that anymore. We’re doing online banking, so that is included in it,” said Lowe.

He says this course will also be updated to include learning about credit scores and real estate.

“Understanding buying, renting, and those kinds of things. So we’re excited about the updates,” said Lowe.

Last month, Wallethub released a list of most financially literate states, and Oklahoma ranked 50th.

“We rank 50th out of 51 in financial literacy. That’s a problem,” said Chris Young, a local who I spoke with about this new law.

“The financial literacy course I think would benefit all children as they’re getting ready between 10th and 12th grade,” said Young.

Young says this legislation would not only benefit these teenagers, but would benefit the state.

“I’m always leery of that coming from the outside to fix something in the schools,” said Dennis Queen, a retired educator who says he’s always in favor of financial liberty and financial programs, but believes that what is taught in the classroom is the primary responsibility of the school.

“The legislature doesn’t need to tell them how to do their job, especially in a country, in a state that isn’t doing a great job anyway,” said Queen.

I spoke with someone who didn’t want to go on camera who said that requiring these courses is a good thing but had concerns about these financial literacy courses checking off boxes instead of actually helping students understand and learn the content.

 

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