Great News For the Future Leaders of Montana: HJ14 Passes
HJ 14, a Joint Resolution of the Senate and the House of Representatives sponsored by Tom Jacobsen, urging the Board of Public Education to include the successful completion of a Financial Literacy Course as a requirement for graduation, passed 3rd and final reading today in the Senate. With its passing, Montana Legislators confirm that Personal Finance is essential to the success of Montana’s graduates.
Without knowledge and understanding of financial matters, people are incapable of managing their personal finances effectively and making sound decisions regarding matters like purchasing, saving, investing and borrowing. Becoming financially literate and learning these necessary skills at an early age encourages greater economic self-sufficiency, higher levels of successful home ownership, and enhanced retirement security. The informed use of credit and other financial products and services benefits individual consumers and promotes economic growth. The past decade has seen declining personal savings rates, increased bankruptcy rates, increased home foreclosures, and rising percentages of household income devoted to servicing household debt. A lack of financial literacy can be especially damaging to students and families during hard economic times, and many students in Montana's public schools do not receive sufficient financial education in their homes. Personal financial education and money management skills are crucial to ensure that our young people and adults are prepared to manage credit and debt, build savings, and become responsible workers, heads of households, investors, entrepreneurs, business leaders, and productive citizens.
1)     That the Board of Public Education be strongly urged to require students to demonstrate proficiency in financial literacy by successfully completing a financial literacy course as a requirement for graduation.
2)     That the required financial literacy course include instruction on:
  • Financial responsibility and decision making;
  • Basic financial functions, including skills such as opening a bank account and writing a check;
  • Income and careers;
  • Planning and money management;
  • Credit and debt management, including the fundamentals of purchasing, saving, investing, and borrowing;
  • Risk management and insurance;
  • How to avoid becoming a victim of predatory lending, financial scams, and other forms of financial exploitation;
  • Financial planning for higher education; and
  • Financial planning for retirement.
3)     That the Secretary of State send copies of this resolution to each member of the Board of Public Education and the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Please, contact the Board of Public Education and the Superintendent of Public Education. Let them know you’re supporting this important legislation; urge them to do the same for our future leaders.
Pete Donovan – Executive Director, Montana Board of Public Education
Phone: 406-444-0300
Patty Meyers –  Board Chair
Sharron Carroll – Board Member
Lila Taylor – Board Member
Bernie Olson – Board Member
Paul Andersen – Board Member
Governor Steve Bullock – Ex-Officio Board Member
Denise Juneau, Superintendent of Public Instruction – Ex-Officio Member
Clay Christian, Commissioner of Higher Education – Ex-Officio Member
Share your support with OPI and the Board of Public Education – the financial fitness of our state's future leaders is in their hands. Let them know you’re supporting this important piece of education and urge them to do the same.

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