SUMMARY OF GRADE
Significant Accomplishments: High school financial literacy instruction requirement; Financial literacy standards in most K-8 social studies standards
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
Beginning with the graduating class of 2023, Louisiana students must receive financial literacy “instruction as a requirement for high school graduation,” in accordance with 2018 Louisiana Act No. 154 (Senate Bill No. 315). Currently, under the Social Studies requirement for high school graduation, students must take one credit of one of the following classes: Civics, Government, AP U.S. Government and Politics Comparative, or AP U.S. Government and Politics: United States. If a student chooses to take Civics to meet that requirement, they will receive some financial literacy instruction, as Financial Literacy is one of eight strands for high school Civics, with five specific standards in the Louisiana Student Standards: Social Studies.
2016 Louisiana Act No. 624 (House Bill No. 401) mandates that “each public elementary or secondary school shall offer instruction in personal financial management based on the concept of achieving financial literacy… such instruction and subject matter shall be integrated into an existing course of study.” This was an amendment, as the previous wording made financial literacy instruction an option rather than a requirement. In the Louisiana Student Standards: Social Studies, each grade has economic standards, in which most all relate to financial literacy. Grade 3 is the only grade where “Personal Finance” is a specific standard under Economics.
Louisiana Act No. 116, (House Bill No. 239) effective 08/01/2019, mandates that the required instruction for personal financial management include the component of “the process and responsibilities, including repayment and default, of borrowing money to fund postsecondary education opportunities.”
Louisiana guarantees some financial literacy instruction through some K-8 standards and its new high school instruction requirement, earning a “C.” In order to improve its grade, Louisiana must implement the graduation requirement as a stand-alone personal finance course and create grade-specific financial literacy standards for Grades K-8.