SUMMARY OF GRADE
Significant Accomplishments: Personal Finance Performance Expectations in high school; K-12 social studies financial literacy standards; Online financial literacy resources
Needs Improvement: Needs to require high school stand-alone personal finance course
AN IN-DEPTH LOOK
Maine allows its local districts to utilize a traditional credit-based diploma or a proficiency-based diploma. With either option, instruction in “civics and personal finance” is required as a part of the two years of social studies and history instruction required for high school graduation. There are four Personal Finance Performance Expectations for Grades 9- Diploma in Maine’s Social Studies standards. Maine law also requires that “the commissioner shall develop a program of technical assistance that promotes the importance of financial literacy and encourages school administrative units to implement an integrated model for instruction in personal finance that may be used in secondary schools as part of the instruction in social studies or mathematics… and shall identify best practices to support students’ financial literacy.”
Maine’s Social Studies standards include at least one Personal Finance Performance Expectation for each grade from K-5, Early Adolescence (Grades 6-8), and Adolescence (Grades 9-Diploma). By addressing personal finance in K-12 standards, Maine ensures its students receive robust financial literacy instruction.
Furthermore, the Maine Department of Education website provides a Financial Literacy webpage with both Maine-based resources and web-based resources for instruction in financial literacy.
Maine receives a “B” for providing financial literacy instruction in Grades K-12 through its social studies standards. However, because of Maine’s optional proficiency-based diploma, there is no high school stand-alone personal finance course requirement, which would earn Maine an “A”.