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  • Significant Accomplishments: Required financial literacy high school course; Financial Literacy webpage

  • Needs Improvement: Needs to implement grade-specific K-8 financial literacy standards


The Financial Literacy Instruction Act of 2005 (Act No. 38; House Bill No. 3020) mandates that “the State Board of Education shall develop or adopt curricula, materials, and guidelines for local school boards to use in implementing a program of instruction on financial literacy within courses currently offered in high schools in this State.” South Carolina offers two optional courses within the Human Services Cluster, Financial Fitness 1 and Financial Fitness 2. Each class has its own set of standards that provide robust financial literacy concepts. 

Previously, in order to receive a South Carolina high school diploma, a student had to complete a one-half credit of economic which included elements of personal finance. Through a provision in the 2022 state budget, lawmakers directed the Department of Education to update graduation requirements and include a semester-long personal finance class. In this course, “Using experiential activities, students will learn the basic principles of personal finance and how to manage their money in a global economy, which include budgeting, banking, insurance, mortgages, savings, investments, inheritance, retirement, tax, and estate planning.  Students will also learn about consumer protection laws, internet safety, and cyber security, enabling them to safeguard financial information against technology-based attacks.”

Financial literacy concepts are not embedded in the South Carolina Social Studies College- and Career-Ready Standards for K-8, except for 2nd grade, where the concepts can be found in the Economic strand.

In accordance with the Financial Literacy Instruction Act, the South Carolina Department of Education has a Financial Literacy webpage with Curricula, Instructional Materials, and Personal Finance Resources. 

South Carolina provides financial literacy instruction through the required high school course, but does not ensure foundational learning throughout K-8 grade levels, earning a “C.” In order to improve its grade, South Carolina needs to create specific financial literacy standards for Grades K-8.

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