SUMMARY OF GRADE
Significant Accomplishments: Hawaii Department of Education Standards with Opportunities to Integrate Financial Literacy Concepts; Hawaii Public Schools Financial Literacy Task Force; Dedicated financial literacy website
Needs Improvement: Needs to require high school stand-alone personal finance course and implement K-8 financial literacy standards
AN IN-DEPTH LOOK
In 2015, Hawaii established the Hawaii Public Schools Financial Literacy Task Force under request of Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 97, Senate Draft 1, to “consider the importance and challenges of implementing financial literacy education for all public school students” and to “develop recommendations and a process for requiring every public school student to participate in a financial literacy course prior to graduating from high school.” The task force released their final report in 2016 in which they recommended that the Department of Education establish an online financial literacy resource page and “align current content standards with financial literacy concepts,” amongst other recommendations.
The Hawaii Department of Education has since established and maintains a financial literacy website. Available is the Hawaii Department of Education Standards with Opportunities to Integrate Financial Literacy Concepts with financial literacy concepts matched to multiple ELA, Mathematics, CTE, Social Studies, and Science standards for K-12. The website also provides robust financial literacy resources and programs for teachers to help implement financial literacy instruction in their classrooms. In 2021, Hawaii’s legislature passed a resolution “urging the Department of Education to coordinate with the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs to implement a graduation requirement of at least a half credit in financial literacy during the junior year or senior year.”
Although Hawaii has made efforts toward increasing its financial literacy instruction, mainly through establishing the Hawaii Public Schools Financial Literacy Task Force, it still receives a “D,” as it does not ensure any substantial financial literacy instruction. Hawaii should follow the recommendation of Senate Resolution 118/House Resolution 45 and require a stand-alone personal finance course for high school graduation. Furthermore, Hawaii needs to develop K-8 grade-specific financial literacy standards in lieu of opportunities for integration in order to improve its grade.