Senate bill could require AZ students to take financial literacy course before graduating

Published: Friday, February 2, 2024 - 5:35pm
Updated: Friday, February 2, 2024 - 5:36pm
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A bill moving through the Arizona Senate would require public school students to take a personal-finance class.

The Senate Education Committee advanced it at a meeting Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2024.

The bill creates a new graduation requirement. Students would have to complete a half credit of financial literacy before finishing high school.

Students already take a half credit of economics and that includes some personal finance.

Republican Sen. J.D. Mesnard is the bill’s sponsor. He said students spend too much time learning about things like derivatives and not enough time learning practical life skills.

“I know that an 18- or 19-year-old isn’t thinking about retirement, but what a 401k is or an IRA or any of that kind of stuff, they don’t focus on that stuff enough and yet those are things we’ll actually need to know," he said.

The bill does not increase the total number of credits required for students to graduate.

Dani Larson teaches an existing course in Prescott Valley. Testifying in favor of the bill, she shared what former students told her they learned in her class.

“How to actually read tax forms. I still have all my worksheets. They are like cheat sheets for adulting. How to manage savings and bills. Without you, I’d be broke 100 percent of the time," Larson said. 

The measure now goes to the Senate Rules Committee.

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