SUMMARY OF GRADE
Significant Accomplishments: Middle and high school personal finance model curriculums; Online financial literacy resources
Needs Improvement: Needs to require high school stand-alone personal finance course and implement grade-specific K-8 financial literacy standards
AN IN-DEPTH LOOK
Connecticut does not require a stand-alone personal finance course for high school graduation, nor does it require students to take a course with personal finance embedded. 2012 Public Act No. 10-111 (Senate Bill No. 438), which altered Connecticut’s high school graduation requirements, specifically states that a personal finance course can count towards the required “two credits in career and life skills elective,” beginning with the graduating class of 2018. Connecticut has a Business and Finance Technology Education Framework for the Personal Finance elective. 2014 Public Act 14-217 (Senate Bill 5490) directs that the Department of Education “shall develop a plan to ensure that each student of a public high school or a constituent unit… receives instruction in financial literacy… during a student’s final year of high school.”
Connecticut Public Act No. 15-138 (Substitute Senate Bill No. 139) directs that “The State Board of Education shall make available curriculum materials and such other materials as may assist local and regional boards of education in developing instructional programs… The State Board of Education, within available appropriations and utilizing available resource materials, shall assist and encourage local and regional board of education to include: … personal financial management.” The Connecticut Department of Education provides Career Clusters or Career Pathways for both middle and high school. “Courses in Personal Finance or Financial Literacy can be listed appropriately in Programs of Study in the Business Management & Administration, Finance, or Marketing Career Clusters as part of a program of study.” The Connecticut Elementary and Secondary Social Studies Framework includes Economic Decision-Making standards for each grade, K-12, but does not specifically cover personal finance.
The Connecticut State Department of Education also provides resources and lesson plans online for Personal Finance.
Connecticut receives a “D,” as it provides some financial literacy instruction, such as through the model curriculums, but not extensive instruction. Grade-specific standards need to be added in K-8 social studies. Connecticut should also follow Public Act 14-217 and require a stand-alone personal finance course for high school graduation to ensure financial literacy instruction in students’ final year, and subsequently raise its grade in financial literacy instruction.