State legislature passes financial literacy class requirement bill

Posted 7/5/19

Pending a final approval, Chatham County Schools students may soon be required to take a full-semester class on financial literacy.

The N.C. General Assembly passed House Bill 924 last month with …

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State legislature passes financial literacy class requirement bill

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Posted

Pending a final approval, Chatham County Schools students may soon be required to take a full-semester class on financial literacy.

The N.C. General Assembly passed House Bill 924 last month with bipartisan support in both houses. The legislation states that students entering ninth grade in the 2020-21 school year will have to take a “cull-credit course focused solely on Economics and Personal Finance.” The bill now sits on Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk.

If passed, North Carolina would join states like Iowa and Kentucky in approving similar legislation in recent times as student debt rises. Among the “economic principles” for which “personal financial literacy instruction” will be given under the law is “planning and paying for postsecondary education,” as well as credit card management, borrowing money for cars, home mortgages and credit reports and scoring.

Kelly Batten, Chatham County Schools’ executive director of secondary education and career/technical education, said the district has “always included economics and financial literacy” in social studies classes and that students have been able to “explore the world of finances” in electives. However, an additional course requirement, as laid out in the bill, “may entail the need for more classroom teachers,” Batten said.

The requirement will also apply to public charter schools, such as Chatham Charter School and Woods Charter School. Regarding Chatham’s representatives in the legislature, both Democrats, state Sen. Valerie Foushee was absent for the Senate’s vote on June 17, while state Rep. Robert Reives II voted against the bill on June 27.

Reporter Zachary Horner can be reached at zhorner@chathamnr.com and on Twitter at @ZachHornerCNR.

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