SUMMARY OF GRADE
Significant Accomplishments: Required high school financial literacy standards; K-12 social studies financial literacy standards; Task Force on Civics and Financial Education
Needs Improvement: Needs to require high school stand-alone personal finance course
AN IN-DEPTH LOOK
While Oregon does not have any specific financial literacy requirement for a high school diploma, there are ten high school Financial Literacy standards in the Oregon K-12 Social Sciences Academic Content Standards. There are no specified courses in which students are instructed in these standards, but it is expected that they meet them. 2017 Chapter 133 (House Bill 2229) adds to the state education law that “school districts and public charter schools are encouraged to offer students courses or other education opportunities in financial literacy to allow every student who wants to receive instruction in financial literacy to be able to receive the instruction,” which recognizes the importance of financial literacy but does not mandate it. Until 1997, Oregon required a stand-alone half-credit of personal finance as a high school graduation.
Financial literacy is fully embedded in the Oregon K-12 Social Sciences Academic Content Standards. There is at least one, if not multiple, specific financial literacy standards for each grade. This ensures all Oregon students receive financial literacy instruction through their K-12 academic careers.
Oregon legislated a Task Force on Civics and Financial Education through 2007 Chapter 773 (House Bill 2584) in order to “study and make recommendations about how to increase and improve civics and financial education in kindergarten through grade 12 public schools.” The Task Force released its Final Report and Recommendations in October 2008 in which they recommended including Financial Literacy as an “Essential Skill for an Oregon Diploma” and pursuing “the possible use of the additional credit required in mathematics for personal finance applications,” although no specific actions have been taken on the recommendations.
Through its financial literacy social sciences standards, Oregon ensures financial literacy instruction in Grades K-12, receiving a “B.” Oregon must implement its high school standards into a stand-alone personal finance course required for graduation in order to ensure high school students are receiving the instruction, and would thus raise its grade to an “A.”