PHOENIX — Proponents of a new Arizona bill hope to help high schoolers learn to manage their money before becoming adults.
“Senate Bill 1184 would require high school students to have financial education and money management in their semester in econ, and that would be a requirement for graduation from high school,” state Treasurer Kimberly Yee told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Wednesday.
Yee said some of the concepts students would learn in a class include balancing a checkbook and understanding the consequences of debt.
“High school students are required already to have an economics semester. This now says in your economics class, in that one semester, please teach personal finance so that they’re prepared for the real world when they graduate from high school,” she said.
Yee said the bill passed out of the Arizona Senate Education Committee on Tuesday with a unanimous vote.
The bill will now move through the state Senate within the next few weeks, and if it passes, it will be voted on by the House.
She said some citizens who spoke in support of the bill included teachers, Girl Scouts and a businesswoman who said she could have benefited from money management skills when she became a single mother. Yee said it was important to her to have the Girl Scouts support the bill because of statistics that show women carry higher debt than men.
“But really for me, it was to show that financial coursework and financial classes and the financial world is for men and women, and … it does appear women do need a little more financial assistance in these areas based on what we pulled here,” she said.
“I wanted to get the message out to young girls that this curriculum matters.”
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Nailea Leon contributed to this report.