HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — A bill that’s advanced through the Connecticut Senate would require high school students to take financial literacy courses before they graduate.
“We have to prepare our children for a 21st-century environment,” said Sen. Doug McCrory, (D-District 2), chair of the Education Committee. “This tool can be used for the rest of your life, from the time you get an allowance. By the time you get your first job, by the time you buy your first automobile, anything you have to buy on credit.”
Students would learn about banking, investing, savings and credit.
The bill passed in the Senate 35-1. Next, it goes to the House of Representatives. If approved, financial literacy classes would start with the graduating class of 2027.
Some schools offer financial literacy as an elective. Recent graduates in New Britain said those classes were helpful.
“I started using a credit card when I was young, and, thankfully now, I have a good credit score,” Klajei Mara said.
Other students said the class taught them how to reach financial goals.
“It definitely helped me, it helped me save up for my car,” Angel Suarez said.
McCrory said the requirement wouldn’t increase the necessary credits to graduate. But, Leslie Blatteau, the divisional vice president for Pre-K to 12 of AFTCT, said adding this class could be a logistical nightmare.
“To put together a schedule for high school, and making sure every student gets a class in the four years, puts new constraints on the school counseling and the school leadership as we trying to make sure the students get what they need,” Blatteau said.
She said the bill should instead mandate that schools offer the class so students wouldn’t be forced into a tough spot.
“We would hate to see a student having to squeeze this into one of the limited semesters they have in high school, and not be able to take an elective they aligned to a future career goal or AP class,” Blatteau said.