(1) The general assembly hereby finds that:
(a) Life skills such as the ability to formulate a household budget, balance a checking account, read and understand the terms and conditions of a credit card, and otherwise manage personal finances are critical to a person's success in today's economy;
(b) In February and March of 2000, in a survey of high school seniors designed to test their knowledge of personal finance basics, the students answered only fifty-one and nine tenths percent of the questions correctly, receiving a failing grade;
(c) Many students graduate from high school without having learned crucial personal financial management skills, although many have already obtained their first credit cards;
(d) Recent studies of consumer finances by the federal reserve board show that, at the end of the third quarter of 1999, household debt in the United States totaled over six trillion three hundred billion dollars. Almost one trillion four hundred billion dollars of this debt was consumer credit debt, while four trillion four hundred billion dollars consisted of mortgage debt.
(e) With the recent growth in consumer debt and the apparently low level of education and understanding with regard to personal finances, it is imperative that the public schools of the state provide students with a thorough, high-quality curriculum of financial literacy to enable students to understand and master personal finance skills, including, at a minimum, managing bank accounts, household budgeting, understanding and managing personal debt, and managing personal savings and investment.
(2) As used in this section, "financial literacy" means knowledge of personal finances that is sufficient to enable a person to manage savings, investment, and checking accounts, to design and maintain a household budget, to manage personal debt, to understand consumer credit and finance, to manage personal credit options, and to understand and select among short-term and long-term investment options.
(3) Each school district board of education is strongly encouraged to adopt as part of its district curriculum courses pertaining to financial literacy to be taught in grade-appropriate courses at the elementary, middle, junior high, and high school grade levels. When selecting mathematics and economics textbooks, each school district is strongly encouraged to select those texts that include substantive provisions on personal finance, including personal budgeting, credit, debt management, and similar personal finance topics.
(4) Each school district board of education is further encouraged to adopt successful completion of a course in financial literacy as a graduation requirement.
Source: L. 2004: Entire section added, p. 1774, 2, effective June 4.