Rep. Skyler Rude prefiles bipartisan legislation to make financial education a graduation requirement for high school students

State Representative Skyler Rude, R-Walla Walla, has prefiled bipartisan legislation that would include financial education instruction as a requirement for students to graduate from high school.

“Teaching financial education is one of the best ways we can improve opportunity for our students,” said Rude, ranking Republican on the House Education Committee. “While some school districts have already prioritized financial education, many students aren’t receiving any instruction before graduation.”

House Bill 1915 would do the following:

  • Require public school students, beginning with the class of 2029, to earn no less than one-half credit of financial education instruction as a graduation prerequisite that can be provided in standalone courses or embedded into other courses and subject areas.
  • Require school districts, beginning in or before the 2026-27 school year, to provide financial education instruction to all public school students in elementary and middle school grades.
  • Require school districts to submit to the state board of education a plan and timeline for providing students with the ability to meet the graduation requirement by December 15, 2024.
  • Maximize flexibility for school districts to implement financial education instruction that recognizes their local circumstances without increasing the number of credits the state requires to graduate.

The Legislature has already taken meaningful steps to support financial education instruction in public schools. In 2004, the Financial Education Public-Private Partnership (FEPPP) was established to improve financial education by providing school districts with teacher training and quality resources at no cost. In 2015, statewide financial education learning standards were adopted. In 2022, the Legislature funded grants from FEPPP to school districts to increase their financial education offerings, including for use in professional development.

“Many in the Legislature, including several of the bill’s cosponsors, have been very intentional about ramping up investments in financial education,” continued Rude. “It is time all students receive this crucial education regardless of school district. This has to be an even greater priority for the Legislature.”

State Treasurer Mike Pellicciotti also supports Rude’s proposed legislation.

“Basic financial skills are an essential element for the economic health of all Washingtonians as they plan for their futures, seize new opportunities, and weather financial hardship. Thanks to the leadership of Rep. Rude and the bipartisan coalition of legislative leaders working to prioritize financial education this session, I’m confident we can equip the next generation with the tools needed to thrive economically for themselves, their families, and communities.”

House Bill 1915 and companion Senate Bill 5819 will be assigned to their respective committees and await public hearings when the Legislature convenes the 2024 session on Jan. 8.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov