SUMMARY OF GRADE
Significant Accomplishments: High school course that includes personal finance required for graduation; Some K-8 financial literacy standards
Needs Improvement: Needs to implement grade-specific K-8 financial literacy standards
AN IN-DEPTH LOOK
Alabama had already placed a priority on financial literacy by ensuring each graduate has been exposed to its concepts and its importance by requiring the full credit course, Career Preparedness, as a graduation requirement. This was implemented by the Alabama State Board of Education at its September 13, 2012 meeting, where it was unanimously adopted to “Replace the Computer Application .5 unit requirement for high school graduation with a .5 unit of Personal Finance/Financial Literacy that can serve as a CTE Course,” beginning with the graduating class of 2017. In May 2023, HB164 was signed into law: “Beginning with public school students entering ninth grade in the 2024-2025 school year, each student shall complete a course in personal financial literacy and money management before graduation from high school.” This bill also provides for the creation of an assessment and a provision that assessment results will be shared with the State Department of Education.
In the Curriculum Guide to the Alabama Course of Study for Social Studies Grades K-12, there are personal finance standards and objectives in Grades K, 1, 2, and 7. This means that personal finance standards are not fully embedded into Alabama’s K-8 standards.
Alabama requires a ½ semester financial literacy course. However, by not having sufficient foundational financial literacy standards in grades, K-8, Alabama receives a “B.”. Alabama needs to implement financial literacy standards during Grades 3-6 and 8, in order to receive an “A.”