NOVI, Michigan (WXYZ) – For Michigan students starting 8th grade in 2023, a personal finance class is now a requirement before they can graduate from high school.
The hope is that young people in Michigan won’t have to figure out all the financial roadblocks on their own now that a new personal finance class requirement is state law.
Former State Representative Diana Farrington sponsored the legislation, House Bill 5190.
“This addition is great. Right? I mean, we’re now the 14th state to make it a part of graduation,” Farrington said.
She explained that she didn’t want to tell schools exactly what to learn for personal finance, but she hopes they will benefit from community resources.
“They have a lot of support groups they can lean on, your bankers, your credit unions. I mean anyone can help them come up with a great curriculum and a robust package,” Farrington said.
She knows it’s part of the legacy she’s leaving behind now that she’s no longer a state representative.
“Oh my god, I’m so proud of that. I worked very hard on it for about 6 years. I hope it continues and stays,” said Farrington.
Anna Lindsey is 16 years old and is a junior at Novi High School. She thinks it’s a good idea for young people to be trained in personal finance.
“We need languages, we need all these courses. And I think something like money and how you manage your money when you’re older is a little more practical for the real world,” Lindsey said.
Lindsey chose to take a finance class that is currently optional at Novi High School.
“Recently we just started talking about leasing cars versus buying cars. All the things we’re talking about actually apply to the world,” Lindsey said.
Mike Giromini is the Assistant Superintendent of Academics in the Novi Community School District. He explained what will change.
“It’s something that some students got, but not all students,” Giromini said. “To say now that all kids will have this requirement, that it’s something that naturally becomes part of their high school education, to get their degree, is excellent. It is very important that they have this.”
He knows what young people are paying attention to these days.
“They have a feel for Bitcoin. They don’t have a strong sense of real, personal finance. What revenue income actually looks like, what taxes look like,” Giromini said.
He said he’s not yet sure how the new curriculum requirement will be implemented, but he knows what he’s hoping for.
“And the ones that stand out to me are credit cards. How do credit cards work and how does debt work,” Giromini said.