SUMMARY OF GRADE
Significant Accomplishments: Required high school course with financial literacy standards; High schools required to offer personal financial literacy elective; K-8 financial literacy standards
Needs Improvement: Needs to require high school stand-alone personal finance course
AN IN-DEPTH LOOK
Previous to 2021, in order to graduate from high school, Texas students were required to complete a one-half credit course entitled Economics with Emphasis on the Free Enterprise System and Its Benefits. There were 24 “knowledge and skills” for the course, and six are Personal Financial Literacy, ensuring each graduating student received some financial literacy instruction. 2013 House Bill No. 2662 amended the Education Code so that “The Texas essential knowledge and skills… shall include instruction in personal financial literacy… in one or more courses offered for high school graduation.” It further requires that each “school that offers a high school program shall provide an elective course in personal financial literacy that meets the requirements for a one-half elective.” In 2021, the Texas General Assembly passed Senate Bill 1063 which creates a one-half credit course entitled "Personal Financial Literacy and Economics” comprised of one-third instruction time in economics and two-thirds instruction time in personal financial literacy; students will be able to take this course in order to fulfill the above-mentioned one-half credit requirement in economics.
2013 Texas House Bill No. 2662 also mandates that “each school district that offers kindergarten through grade 12 shall offer, as a required curriculum… personal financial literacy.” Personal financial literacy concepts are embedded into each grade, K-8, in the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Mathematics. This ensures financial literacy instruction for each student.
The Texas Education Agency provides “Personal Financial Literacy Materials Approved November 2012 and Earlier.” These financial literacy resources were approved prior to the Texas Personal Financial Literacy requirement, so they do not all align with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Personal Financial Literacy.
Texas ensures financial literacy instruction in Grades K-12 through its legislative mandate to include instruction in its curriculum as well as embedded into its mathematics and high school economics standards, earning Texas a “B.” Although each Texas high school is already required to offer the stand-alone Personal Finance elective, making the course a requirement for graduation would earn Texas an “A.”