Proposed law would make personal finance a graduation requirement

Marti Diaz, who teaches financial literacy at Milwaukee Public Schools, works with personal finance students, Edison Lee, right, and Mariah Jones, center, who are both seniors at Riverside High School.

Jajuan Hoskins, a senior at Rhinelander High School, didn’t hesitate when state lawmakers asked him to rank the importance of his personal finance course.

“I would definitely rank this number one,” he said. “Finances are a huge part of adulthood.”

His two classmates, also testifying before the state Assembly Education Committee, quickly agreed.

The students and their financial education teacher, Patrick Kubeny, spoke at the Capitol this week in support of a proposal to make a personal finance course a graduation requirement for all students in Wisconsin. 

The proposal goes farther than legislation passed in 2017 that required school districts to adopt financial literacy academic standards.

Right now, it is up to each district to decide how to implement those standards, leading to a wide variation across the state. In some districts, a teacher trained in personal finance teaches a stand-alone course. In others, the material is sprinkled in economics, business and technology, or family and consumer science classes.

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