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Debate over financial literacy as Mass. graduation requirement due to F-grade.

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TLDR:

House Bill H.4199 in Massachusetts proposes to require all high school students to take a personal financial literacy course before graduating. This course would cover topics such as budgeting, taxes, saving, and investments. The bill has received support from teachers, students, and committee members, with overwhelming philosophical backing. Currently, only 17 towns in Massachusetts require financial literacy for graduation, and the state ranks low in financial education compared to others in the country. The bill aims to address rising credit card and student loan debt among young adults in the state.

In Massachusetts, House Bill H.4199 is being debated, which would require all high school students to take a personal financial literacy course before graduating. This bill is supported by Jim Curran from Cape Cod 5’s Financial Know-How Program, who believes that educating students about financial habits can better prepare them for the future. The proposed course would cover topics such as earning and spending income, budgeting, taxes, saving, interest, and investments.

John Ganss, a business teacher at Cape Cod Regional Technical High School, raises concerns about fitting a financial literacy requirement into the curriculum due to existing constraints. However, he acknowledges the importance of students learning about credit card debt, amortization, and retirement planning. Currently, Massachusetts ranks low in financial education compared to other states, with only 17 towns requiring financial literacy for graduation.

Massachusetts faces substantial credit card and student loan debt among young adults, with average debt amounts reaching thousands of dollars. Curran suggests that implementing a financial literacy requirement would not require additional hiring or funding, as many personal finance curriculums are readily available. While 25 states already mandate financial literacy courses for high school graduation, Massachusetts has yet to adopt this requirement.

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