SUMMARY OF GRADE
Significant Accomplishments: High school financial literacy instruction requirement; Financial literacy standards in most K-8 social studies 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
In the West Virginia Education Code, it mandates that “to provide students a basic understanding of personal finance, the state Board shall develop a program of instruction on personal finance which may be integrated into the curriculum of an appropriate existing course or courses for students in secondary schools.”222 West Virginia requires the completion of a one credit Social Studies course, Civics for the Next Generation, or AP Government for high school graduation.223 Ten of the 39 standards for high school civics are Personal Finance.224 If students choose to take AP Government and Politics in place of Civics, counties are still required to provide those students with instruction to reach mastery for the Personal Finance Standards.
The West Virginia College- and Career-Readiness Standards for Social Studies has Economics standards for each grade, K-8. Under the Economics standards, “students become financially responsible by examining the consequences of and practicing personal financial decision-making.” There are some personal finance components in the economics standards for Grades K-8.225
Because it guarantees some financial literacy instruction though social studies standards in K-8 grades and for high school students, West Virginia receives a “C.” In order to raise its grade, West Virginia needs to create personal finance standards for each grade and implement a required stand-alone personal finance course for high school graduation.