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Legislation Introduced Ensuring Financial Literacy Curriculum is Taught for Alaska High School Students


March 27, 2023

(SitNews) - Senator Bill Wielechowski(D-Anchorage) introduced Senate Bill 99, which directs school districts to offer a financial literacy course for high school students. School districts will have the flexibility to choose the curriculum approved by the Department of Education and Early Development. Senate Bill 99 requires 14 instructional components, such as budget and money management, fraud and financial deception, federal income taxes, and postsecondary loan applications.

Many young Americans fall quickly into credit card debt, are more vulnerable to financial fraud through social media, and lack an overall understanding of retirement planning. According to Experian, on average, Alaskans have the highest credit card debt in the country at $8,026. According to a 2021 study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), young adults in 2019, ranging from age 25 to 36, are less likely to own a home and have lower net worth than the same age bracket studied in 2001. That same population studied in 2019 has an even larger financial disparity than those born between 1946 and 1964.

“There is a financial crisis in our country,” said Sen. Wielechowski. “By providing young Alaskans with tools to become more financially literate, it will not only improve their economic stability, but it will also benefit Alaska’s economy and reduce reliance on social programs funded and administered by the state.”

Fifty-five percent of Americans have less than $1,000 in a savings account, according to a 2022 Ramsey Solutions survey of 8,081 adults. The median retirement savings, which is the point where half of the participants have more and half have less, is only $60,000 for all families, according to an report.

Twenty-two states already have similar financial literacy requirements, and many more school districts offer comparable curricula. If passed, Senate Bill 99 will take effect for the 2024-2025 school year, providing school districts with over a year to develop a curriculum that meets the needs of their students.

Senate Bill 99 was referred to the Senate Education Committee. 

A hearing is scheduled for Mar 29, 2023 (Wednesday) 3:30 PM Senate EDUCATION at BELTZ 105 (TSBldg) - TELECONFERENCED.


Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews

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