PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- General Treasurer Seth Magaziner
has joined with Senator Sandra Cano (D-Dist. 8, Pawtucket) and Representative
Joseph McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston) to introduce legislation that
will expand the teaching of personal finance in Rhode Island's public high
Magaziner, Cano and McNamara were joined by a diverse group
of stakeholders, including teachers, students, legislators, and community
organizations who support the effort to ensure that all Rhode Island student
have access to personal finance education.
"Thirty-six states guarantee students access to
personal finance education in their public schools, but Rhode Island does
not," said Treasurer Seth Magaziner. "Financial education is vital in
setting young people up for success in life, and Rhode Island has fallen behind
in offering financial education in our schools."
While seven Rhode Island school districts have made personal
finance a graduation requirement, and most Rhode Island high schools offer
classes that include personal finance, Rhode Island is an outlier in not
guaranteeing that all students benefit from personal finance education.
The legislation introduced by Magaziner, Cano and McNamara,
Chairman of the Health, Education and Welfare Committee, would require all
public high schools to offer a class that includes personal finance beginning
in the 2019-2020 school year, and would require students to demonstrate
proficiency in personal finance by the 2021-2022 school year.
"We are letting our children down by not teaching them
the most important and most needed skill in adulthood - financial literacy.
Without adequate financial literacy, our graduating students are put at a
distinct disadvantage in starting their adult lives. This must end for the sake
of our students and I am looking forward to working with Treasurer Magaziner to
ensure Rhode Island's kids get the financial education that will benefit them so
much later in life," said Sen. Sandra Cano.
"All adults should possess the skills necessary to
manage their money wisely," said Rep. McNamara. "Not knowing the
basics can lead to a web of bad credit and poor financial decisions. A high
school diploma becomes a lot more valuable when it comes along with the ability
to manage personal finances and avoid a lifetime of debt."
A recent report published by the Treasurer's office outlines
the need for personal finance education in Rhode Island schools, the positive
impact that financial education can have the long-term financial health of
students, and a path toward ensuring that all Rhode Island students receive
access to personal finance education.
report can be downloaded at: treasury.ri.gov/FallenBehind