Oregon Becomes 23rd State to Guarantee a Personal Finance Course for All High School Students

SALEM, Ore., Aug. 2, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — On July 31, Governor Tina Kotek signed into law Senate Bill 3, bipartisan legislation that makes Oregon the 23rd state to guarantee a standalone personal finance course for high school students. Advocates, including the Next Gen Personal Finance Mission 2030 Fund, applaud the effort.

“Every student in Oregon deserves to start their adult life with these critical skills for building stability.”

Oregon joins West Virginia, Indiana, Minnesota, Connecticut, and Louisiana, in passing laws in 2023 that will guarantee personal finance courses for future high school graduates. Oregon Senate President Rob Wagner and Senate Republican leader Tim Knopp worked together to introduce the bill.

“Students and families across the state are clear that financial literacy is an essential skill our schools must be teaching,” said Sen. Wagner. “With this legislation, our young people will have the tools they need to make informed financial decisions.”

Oregon has come together to provide students with the much-needed workplace readiness and basic financial skills necessary for their current and future selves,” said Joey Running, a personal finance educator at West Albany High School. “Understanding financial goals, essential habits, and personal values allows students and their families to make decisions benefiting themselves, their communities, and all of Oregon.”

Research shows that high school personal finance courses positively impact student debt decisions and credit scores, help graduates avoid predatory lenders, increase savings rates among teachers, and generate positive spillover effects on parents.

“Financial education in our schools has been a priority for Oregon credit unions for almost two decades and now we are able to deliver a tangible solution for high school students,” said Pamela Leavitt, senior vice president of legislative affairs for Oregon with GoWest Credit Union Association.

Oregon will require students graduating high school in the 2026-27 school year to take two half credits of personal finance and life skills. The half credit on finance education will include lessons on building credit, budgeting, banking, taxes, and more. The other half credit will focus on paying for college and career skills.

The NGPF Mission 2030 Fund, a nonprofit that advocates for this policy in all states, supported the bill.

“Every student in Oregon deserves to start their adult life with these critical skills for building stability,” said Tim Ranzetta, Co-Founder of NGPF. “We applaud policymakers who came together to make this happen for the benefit of all Oregon students.”

Representative Ricki Ruiz said when he toured schools across the state, students repeatedly asked that financial literacy be taught in the classroom. “Learning about finances as you grow up is critical not only to accomplish your dreams but to also set up your future family for success,” Rep. Ruiz said. “Generational wealth leads to great generational health.”

State Senator Michael Dembrow, Chair of the Senate Education Committee, reported that during a year-long legislative task force on student success in higher education, students said they felt unprepared for life after high school and many had made unfortunate financial decisions.

“This confirmed my own experience teaching community college students. I saw first-hand how uneven and inequitable students’ knowledge of financial tools was,” said Sen. Dembrow. “I’m glad we’re finally taking steps to level that playing field.”

State Treasurer Tobias Read applauded the legislature, stating “Everyone deserves the chance to get ahead financially and I’m excited that the legislature took this step to help our students.”

About Next Gen Personal Finance
Next Gen Personal Finance is a national nonprofit committed to guaranteeing that all high school students receive a personal finance course. NGPF has become the “one-stop shop” for over 80,000 educators who use NGPF’s free, engaging personal finance curriculum and professional development to empower their students with skills to thrive in the future.

About the NGPF Mission 2030 Fund
The Mission 2030 Fund is a nonprofit affiliated with Next Gen Personal Finance and focused on advocating for financial education in state legislatures.

Media Contact:
Tim Ranzetta
NGPF Mission 2030 Fund
[email protected]

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SOURCE Next Gen Personal Finance

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