SUMMARY OF GRADE
Significant Accomplishments: K-12 financial literacy standards by grade bands; Wisconsin Governor’s Council on Financial Literacy
Needs Improvement: Needs to require high school stand-alone personal finance course
AN IN-DEPTH LOOK
There are no financial literacy related course requirements for high school graduation in Wisconsin. However, 2017 Wisconsin Act 94 (Assembly Bill 280) requires that each school board “adopt academic standards for financial literacy and incorporate instruction in financial literacy into the curriculum in grades kindergarten to 12.” The Wisconsin Standards for Personal Financial Literacy, updated in June 2020, are divided into six strands that support the learning of personal financial literacy through grade bands K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Though these standards provide students with a strong personal financial literacy framework, the adoption of the standards is voluntary.
2021 Executive Order #106 renamed the Wisconsin Governor’s Council on Financial Literacy (created under 2011 Executive Order #24) as the Governor’s Council on Financial Literacy and Capability. The Council’s mission is, in part, to “Explore and identify best practices in implementing financial literacy and capability through individuals’ life stages – pre-k to college, young adult, adulthood, pre-retirement, and retirement.” At the publication of this report, a bill requiring one half-credit of financial literacy instruction had passed the Wisconsin Assembly and was pending in the Senate.
While Wisconsin has made notable efforts towards financial literacy instruction, it still receives a “B” Wisconsin must institute a required stand-alone personal finance course for high school graduation to receive an “A.”