Whitmer signs bill to require financial literacy course in Michigan high schools

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a bill Thursday that would add a financial literacy course to the high school curriculum. 

"As a mom, I want every kid who graduates in Michigan to enter the world with a diverse set of skills and knowledge, and that must include financial literacy," Whitmer said. " Every young Michigander deserves to know how to budget, save, and invest their money wisely so they can get off a great start after high school, whether they go to college, start working, or open a small business."

The bipartisan legislation would add a half-credit personal finance course requirement to graduate, starting with ninth grade students in 2024.

"Personal finance education will serve as a launchpad for Michigan graduates lifting off into adulthood, so they won’t be caught off guard by the financial decisions that await them," said State Rep. Diana Farrington, R-Utica. "The course will teach students how to manage their finances. They’ll be prepared to make smart, everyday budget choices — and equipped to handle the challenges that come their way. Establishing a core class dedicated to financial literacy has been a years-long labor of love for me, and I’m truly excited for the students who will fly to new heights through a fuller, richer education."

Farrington sponsored the bill.

According to a press release from the governor, the course requirement could fulfill a half credit of the four-credit mathematics requirement, the two-credit language other than English requirement, or the one-credit visual, performing, or applied arts requirement. The course could also be completed as part of an approved career and technical education program.

"Adding a financial literacy requirement to Michigan's education curriculum makes sense if our goal is to prepare students for success, in both careers and life," said Rick Baker, President & CEO of the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce. "Too many young adults are unprepared when it comes to making major financial decisions. This legislation will give students the opportunity to learn and develop these skills early, and hopefully leading to better financial wellbeing for years to come. We appreciate the legislature and governor recognizing an important need and working to prepare our future generations for long-term success."