Oklahoma requires students learn personal finance to graduate

BY Robert Pursell  February 24, 2014 at 6:33 PM EDT
Money and saving

Creative commons image by 401(K) 2013

For every parent who has ever railed that children no longer understand the value of a dollar, the Oklahoma state legislature has come up with a response: as of this May, all public high school students in the state will be required to show they have a working understanding of 14 areas of personal finance in order to graduate.

The bill, which originally passed in 2007, is the toughest ever attempted and will require students to become adept in areas of personal finance like banking, loans, taxes, identity theft and investing.

“We’re basically teaching them how to live on their own,” Joe Griese, a junior high school physical education teacher, told The Oklahoman newspaper.

Yet despite the law’s broadly positive implications, some educators are troubled by the fact that the legislation provides no funding for school districts to hire dedicated financial literacy teachers, according to Amy Lee, executive director of the Oklahoma Council on Economic Education.