SUMMARY OF GRADE
Significant Accomplishments: Required high school financial literacy instruction; Financial literacy standards in most K-12 social studies standards; State Seal of Financial Literacy; Annual Financial Literacy Month; State Financial Literacy Advisory Council; A separate site for Financial Literacy information and resources; personal finance standards in most K-8 grades
Needs Improvement: Needs to require high school stand-alone personal finance course
AN IN-DEPTH LOOK
2017 Nevada Chapter 456 (Senate Bill 249) amended the Nevada high school requirements to add a “one-half unit of credit in economics.” The new requirement is effective July 2022. Nevada has a set of Grades 9-12 Financial Literacy standards in the Nevada Academic Content Standards for Social Studies. There are 13 specific standards with five categories, but it is not clear if the standards are to be mastered in a specific course. “By the conclusion of grade 12, each student will learn to evaluate and assess personal financial literacy skills.” For Grade 9-12: Civics and Economics, there are no personal finance-specific standards.
2017 Chapter 456 also mandates that “The board of trustees of each school district and the governing body of each charter school shall ensure that instruction in financial literacy is provided to pupils enrolled in grades 3 to 12, inclusive, in each public school.” Furthermore, it requires that the financial literacy standards listed in the legislation must be included in the state’s standards and included within courses with relevant standards, as established by the Council to Establish Academic Standards for Public Schools, effective July 1, 2022. Currently, in the Nevada Academic Content Standards for Social Studies, Grades 3, 4, 5, 6-8, and 9-12 have specific Financial Literacy standards. Financial Literacy is one of six content theme standards for the Social Studies standards and has five of its own content themes. These standards were revised in 2018. AB19 was passed in 2021, stating that “existing law provides that social studies includes only the subjects of history, geography, economics and government. This bill removes government from the list of subjects included within social studies and adds civics, financial literacy and multicultural education to that list.”
The Nevada Department of Education has a website that provides a “hub of Financial Literacy information and resources to support the academic achievement and financial success of all students in Nevada.” Adopted on June 5, 2019, Senate Bill 314 established a State Seal of Financial Literacy to be affixed to the diploma or transcript of students that demonstrate proficiency in financial literacy. The legislation also instituted an annual Financial Literacy Month and a State Financial Literacy Advisory Council.
Nevada receives a “B” for ensuring financial literacy instruction through most of Grades K-12 through social studies and specific high school financial literacy standards. Nevada’s Financial Literacy Month, Financial Literacy Advisory Council, and State Seal of Financial Literacy are all commendable efforts towards increasing financial literacy instruction. In order to receive an “A,” we recommend that Nevada introduce basic foundational personal finance concepts in K-2 and use the high school financial literacy standards to require a stand-alone personal finance course.