Texas Passes Financial Literacy Law

How many teens know the value of a dollar? How many can balance a checkbook or understand a budget? On June 17, 2005, Texas joined the seven, now eight, states, where the answer to these questions better be: most of them.

“Since American teens spend billions of dollars each year, it’s imperative that they learn smart spending and saving habits early in their lives,” Ed Polansky, Chairman of the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants (TSCPA) said in testimony supporting HB 492. “Texas CPAs believe teaching money management principles to high school students better prepare them for financial decision-making as adults.”

HB 492 requires personal finance education in order to graduate from high school. The bill, introduced in the Texas House of Representatives by Rep. Beverly Woolley (R-Houston), was signed into law by Governor Rick Perry last Friday.

The TSCPA is prepared to help school districts comply with the new law’s provisions by making available “360 Degrees of Financial Literacy,” the multi-lesson curriculum guide developed by the American Institutes of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). The TSCPA statewide financial literacy initiative also includes a bilingual, informational web site, www.ValueYourMoney.org with special sections for consumers of all ages and free monthly e-newsletters on a variety of financial topics.

Oh, the other states with financially literate teens? According to the National Council on Economic Education they are: Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, New York and Utah.

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