SUMMARY OF GRADE
Significant Accomplishments: Required high school course with financial literacy 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
The state of New York requires a one-half credit economics course for high school graduation. The recommended course for this requirement, Grade 12: Economics, the Enterprise System, and Finance, has four main standards, and half of the sub-standards under “Individual Responsibility and the Economy” are personal finance concepts. Therefore, each New York student receives some financial literacy instruction through the required high school economics course. There are also some personal finance aspects embedded within the Family and Consumer Science standards.
The New York State K-8 Social Studies Framework does not include financial literacy standards. While there are economic standards for each grade, only a few align with personal finance standards, meaning all students are not guaranteed robust financial literacy instruction until their senior year of high school. Middle level students in Career and Technical Education also receive some personal finance instruction within the Financial and Consumer Literacy module.
In 2021, New York legislators voted to “require that the department of financial services website provide information to enhance consumer financial literacy and consumer awareness which shall include information on basic banking and personal financial management, how credit scores are determined and ways to establish good credit, options for investing and increasing savings, best practices for protecting personal information, and any other topics deemed appropriate by the superintendent” showing some interest in increasing the level of financial literacy of New Yorkers, but no legislation pertaining to K-12 education in personal finance was passed.
New York receives a “D” in financial literacy instruction, as it does not provide substantial K-12 instruction. New York provides minimal instruction through embedded standards in the required high school economics course. In order to improve its grade and provide instruction from Grades K-12, New York needs to require a stand-alone high school personal finance course and create more personal finance standards for Grades K-8.