New Georgia law requires high school students to take financial literacy classes

ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) — A new law requires some Georgia high school students to take financial literacy courses as a prerequisite for graduation. Proponents of the legislation say classes for teens on money management are long overdue.

“You have to make mistakes to learn well,” said Cuong Le, a Georgia State University senior, of his spending habits.

On campus, like any other college, it is common to find students who rely on the trial and error method when it comes to dollars and cents.

“I took out a lot of loans, I wish I had done more scholarships so I wouldn’t have so much debt,” explained Jordan Lewis. The 22-year-old says she only learned about financial responsibility this year through social media.

“TikTok,” she laughed. “I created a budget planner to write down how much I spend per month, so I started budgeting that way.

Similarly, freshman Nate Green says he wished he had access to educational resources on spending and saving before entering college.

“When you’re in [grade] school, they don’t teach you how to budget, finance. Adding, “they teach you the problems, never how to solve them.”

Governor Brian Kemp recently signed into law financial literacy in high schools. The prerequisite for graduation means that students in grades 11 or 12 must earn half credit in a course that discusses budgeting and credit.

Nationally, as of this year, about 23% of students have done so, according to an education report published by Next Gen Personal Finance.

Plus, about 25 states already require something similar for college students.

Proponents say it’s essential because the pandemic and inflation have exacerbated families’ financial woes.

“It’s amazing, reducing the debt. People won’t be bothered here,” Green told CBS46.

Lewis says: “Now they will already be prepared for what it will be like when they get to college.”

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