SUMMARY OF GRADE
Significant Accomplishments: Required high school course with minimal embedded financial literacy instruction
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
New Hampshire requires a half-year course of economics for high school graduation, which includes some financial literacy instruction. In the K-12 Social Studies New Hampshire Curriculum Framework under Grades 9-12 Economics, one of the six standards is Personal Finance, meaning each student receives some financial literacy instruction through the required economics class before high school graduation.
The only other personal finance standards in the K-12 Social Studies New Hampshire Curriculum Framework are for Grades 7-8. Under Grades 7-8 Economics, Personal Finance is one of six standards with eight of its own specific standards. New Hampshire students are therefore not guaranteed exposure to personal finance until seventh grade. New Hampshire was in the process of re-writing the Curriculum Frameworks for Social Studies in 2018, but those updates appear to have been delayed.
The New Hampshire legislature recently passed a bill re-defining the State’s description of an “opportunity for an adequate education...as rigorous academic study and applied learning” in a number of subject areas including personal finance literacy. This change may increase the level of personal finance instruction New Hampshire students receive in the classroom.
As it provides only some financial literacy instruction, through embedded high school and middle school standards, New Hampshire receives a “D.” New Hampshire needs to require a stand-alone course with the personal finance standards for high school graduation and to create Grades K-6 personal finance standards in order to receive an “A.”