State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond met with students at Berkeley High School today to discuss the benefits of financial literacy and personal finance courses. Superintendent Thurmond is working to make sure elective classes like these are taught at all California high schools with his financial literacy bill, Assembly Bill 984 (McCarty), co-sponsored with California State Treasurer Fiona Ma, which would make personal finance and financial literacy a high school graduation requirement.
Students spoke about what they have learned in the class and how it has helped them make financial decisions. They also shared their support for making personal finance courses available to all high school students.
“Young Californians are entering the workforce and higher education with very little understanding of financial literacy. This is deeply concerning, since students with higher financial literacy are more likely to invest in a savings account, prepare for retirement, and manage their debt,” Superintendent Thurmond said. “Access to financial literacy is also an equity issue that is directly reflected through racial wealth gaps. Only 27 percent of California high school students attend schools that offer personal finance classes. Ensuring that all young Californians have exposure to financial literacy is a vital step in closing inequality gaps and providing the skills and resources to improve their lives overall.”