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Proposed bill could boost personal finance education in Michigan schools

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Photo by Alexander Mils on Unsplash

A proposed bill in Lansing could change high school economics requirements in Michigan.

If passed, the bill would allow high school students to satisfy their economics requirement with a course in personal finance.

Jim Walter is the superintendent of Clare public schools. He said personal finance education is necessary in Michigan because those kinds of conversations no longer happen at the family level.

“Practically speaking, we want to make sure that our kids understand the impact of their decisions on a more individualized and family level, and that's the advantage of a personal finance class over economics,” Walter said.

He said some math classes offered in Clare might touch on concepts encompassed in personal finance, but additional education is necessary to help students fully understand the impact of their financial decisions.

“Sometimes having one concentrated course dealing with personal finance, your lives, your working lives, your income, your taxes, etc., may be better suited than kids extrapolating the meaning out of other math classes,” Walter said.

During his experience as superintendent, Walter said he has noticed interest from parents and community members in personal finance education.

Jill Harrington is a senior at CMU majoring in journalism and minoring in theatre and interpretation. Jill grew up in Novi, Michigan and started reporting for WCMU in summer 2022.