SUMMARY OF GRADE
Significant Accomplishments: High school half-credit personal finance course requirement; Financial literacy standards in most K-8 social studies standards
AN IN-DEPTH LOOK
Previously in the West Virginia Education Code, it mandated 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.” West Virginia required the completion of a one credit Social Studies course, Civics for the Next Generation, or AP Government for high school graduation. Ten of the 39 standards for high school civics are Personal Finance. If students chose to take AP Government and Politics in place of Civics, counties were still required to provide those students with instruction to reach mastery for the Personal Finance Standards.
In March 2023, House Bill 3113 was signed into law: “Beginning with the class of students entering 9th grade in the 2024-2025 school year and thereafter, each high school student shall complete one-half credit course of study in personal finance during their 11th or 12th grade year as a requirement for high school graduation. The State Board of Education shall develop and issue implementation guidance to local school boards and other education agencies as to curriculum, content matter standards, eligible teacher certification(s), and graduation requirements the course may fulfill before July 1, 2024. Every student shall complete a course in personal finance prior to high school graduation.”
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. Additionally, there are specific personal finance standards within the Civics course.
Because it guarantees financial literacy instruction through social studies standards in K-8 grades and a half-credit personal finance course requirement for high school students, West Virginia receives a “A.”