A personal finance course will be required for future high school graduation in South Carolina
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS/Gray News) – South Carolina students will need to learn skills like credit card handling and tax filing in the future to graduate.
“I think it’s so important to try to teach some of these foundational skills to these kids as soon as they can, so they get off to a good start,” said personal finance professor Bill Joy. at WIS.
Joy teaches the course to second year students and covers units on budgeting, auditing, saving and more.
“We actually teach the kids how to prepare their taxes, and in fact some of those kids have gone on to prepare taxes for their parents. So those are the kind of life skills that I think are really valuable,” Joy said.
A law in the current state budget directs the South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) to develop regulations for a required high school course in personal finance by the end of September, which will then be approved by the State Board of Education.
“We all understand that our students need it. They need the foundation and the basic knowledge and the schema and the financial literacy, rather than finding out when it’s too late,” said David Mathis, assistant superintendent of the College Readiness Division and to SCDE’s career.
These regulations specify how the half-credit requirement will fit into the 24 credits needed to graduate and which class will be the first to pass the course to graduate.
Mathis said they want to be able to offer different options for students to complete this requirement, which could include taking the course virtually, as an option or as part of their career and technology training requirement.
The new personal finance requirement will not be in place for the next school year as Mathis said it could take around a year just to develop course standards.
“Once that’s done, we have to build the course around that. We need to secure materials and resources that districts can choose from,” Mathis said.
The Department of Education will also need to work in time for professional development and to train teachers on the new course.
Personal finance is a required course for a high school diploma in more than a dozen states, most of them in the Southeast.
Among neighboring states, North Carolina already has a personal finance requirement in place, while Georgia just passed legislation this year adding it.
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