SUMMARY OF GRADE
Significant Accomplishments: High school financial literacy instruction requirement; K-12 Vocational Studies financial literacy standards; Kentucky Financial Empowerment Commission; Financial Literacy and Personal Finance website
Needs Improvement: Needs to require high school stand-alone personal finance course; Create grade-specific standards for K-8
AN IN-DEPTH LOOK
Effective July 14, 2018, Kentucky Acts Ch. 81 Sec. 1 (House Bill 132) mandates that, beginning with the graduating class of 2024, students must successfully complete “one or more courses or programs that meet the financial literacy standards” for high school graduation. Prior to the passage of this bill, there was no specific financial literacy instruction requirement for high school graduation. Kentucky’s minimum graduation requirements lists “receive instruction in financial literacy” but does not list the requirement as a stand-alone personal finance course.
The Kentucky Academic Standards: Vocational Studies includes specific primary, Grades 4-8, and high school standards for financial literacy. Kentucky Academic Standards are “the minimum required standards that all Kentucky students should have the opportunity to learn before graduating from Kentucky high schools” and “address what is to be learned, but do not address how learning experiences are to be designed or what resources should be used.” These K-12 standards provide the framework for ensuring all Kentucky students receive financial literacy instruction.
In 2019, Kentucky passed House Bill 139, an addition to KRS Chapter 41, which establishes the Kentucky Financial Empowerment Commission. The commission was created to “develop and implement a plan toward increasing financial empowerment for all Kentuckians, specifically the following target groups: K-12 students in Kentucky.” The Kentucky Department of Education website has a page dedicated to Financial Literacy and Personal Finance with links to and descriptions of financial literacy resources.
Kentucky receives a “B” in financial literary for requiring financial literacy instruction in Grades K-12 through standards and a high school personal finance instruction requirement. In order to receive an “A,” Kentucky needs to create specific financial literacy standards for each grade, rather than just in wide grade bands, and make the high school requirement a stand-alone course requirement.