NC bill requires high school students to take personal finance course, 1 less US history course

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The North Carolina State Board of Education is now mandating that students take a personal finance course in order to graduate from high school.

The requirement approved on Thursday will apply to freshman students entering into the 2020-2021 school year.

To make room for the new course, students now only have to take one class on American history instead of two.

State officials argue the change won't result in less student knowledge of American history. A revamped high school civics class also will contain history.

"It's important," said Sandy Wheat who runs the North Carolina Council on Economic Education when the bill was first announced in 2019. "People don't hear it and too many people graduate from the school of hard knocks where money is concerned."

Supporters of the personal-finance course believe it will help students become savvy consumers as adults.

According to the bill's language, at a "minimum," the financial literacy course would require students to learn about:
  • The true cost of credit
  • Choosing and managing a credit card
  • Borrowing money for an automobile or other large purchase
  • Home mortgages
  • Credit scoring and credit reports
  • Planning and paying for post-secondary education
  • Other relevant financial literacy issues
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