Wisconsin Becomes 24th State to Guarantee a Personal Finance Course for All High School Students

PR Newswire
Wednesday, December 6, 2023 at 11:08pm UTC

Wisconsin Becomes 24th State to Guarantee a Personal Finance Course for All High School Students

PR Newswire

MADISON, Wis., Dec. 6, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- On December 6, Governor Tony Evers signed into law Assembly Bill 109, bipartisan legislation that makes Wisconsin the 24th state to guarantee a standalone personal finance course for high school students. Advocates, including the NGPF Mission 2030 Fund, applaud the effort. The path to a personal finance course requirement in Wisconsin stretched over two years and was driven by the leadership of Senator Joan Ballweg (R-Markesan) and Rep. Alex Dallman (R-Green Lake).

The foundation of a prosperous future is laid by educating our youth in the art of managing personal finances.

Wisconsin joins six other states that passed laws in 2023 that will guarantee all high school students in their states will benefit from a personal finance course: West Virginia, Indiana, Minnesota, Connecticut, Louisiana and Oregon. In the last three years, the number of states requiring a standalone course in personal finance has tripled from eight to 24. View the status of all states on NGPF's Live U.S. Dashboard.

"The foundation of a prosperous future is laid by educating our youth in the art of managing personal finances and now future graduates of Wisconsin high schools will have this opportunity," said Tim Ranzetta, Co-Founder of Next Gen Personal Finance. "This achievement could not have been accomplished without the incredible teacher-advocates, Laura Finke, Kerri Herrild, Joel Chrisler and Patrick Kubeny. They, along with their students, testified passionately in front of Education Committees on the powerful impacts of a personal finance course."

Wisconsin will require students graduating high school in the 2027-28 school year to take at least a one semester course of personal finance that includes financial mindset, education and employment, money management, saving and investing, credit and debt, and risk management and insurance.

"Financial literacy gives people the tools they need to be financially secure and to realize their dreams for themselves and their families," said Dave Mancl, Director of the Office of Financial Literacy at the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions. "Wisconsin can now guarantee that all students will be provided the financial life skills and knowledge they can benefit from all through life."

"Requiring all Wisconsin students to complete a personal finance course is a crucial step toward breaking the cycle of generational poverty and ensuring social justice," said Kerri Herrild, personal finance teacher at De Pere High School. "This transformative educational initiative extends beyond the classroom, equipping our youth with the knowledge to make sound financial decisions, benefiting not just them but all Wisconsin residents for generations to come."

"Financial education is empowerment," said Laura Finke, career and technical education teacher at Oconomowoc High School. "It provides students with opportunities to practice tangible life skills: opening a bank account or Roth IRA, filing taxes, researching insurance policies, and beyond."

Research shows that high school personal finance courses positively impact student debt decisions and credit scores, help graduates avoid predatory lenders, increase savings rates among teachers, and generate positive spillover effects on parents.

"It is impossible to win the money game if you don't know the rules," said Patrick Kubeny, who taught personal finance for decades at Rhinelander High School. "This bill will ensure, at the very least, that each and every Wisconsin student will be provided the chance to learn those vital money rules."

"Wisconsin has always been a leading state to invest in the future of its students," said Joel Chrisler, Jump$tart's Advisor on Effective Financial Education. "Thank you to our legislators and governor for making a decision that strengthens the economic future for Wisconsin."

The NGPF Mission 2030 Fund, a nonprofit that advocates for this policy in all states, was a supporter of the bill and provided technical support to policymakers.

About Next Gen Personal Finance

Next Gen Personal Finance (NGPF) is a nonprofit committed to guaranteeing that all high school students receive a personal finance course prior to graduating. NGPF has become the number one source for more than 90,000 educators looking for high-quality, engaging personal finance curriculum to equip students with the skills they need to thrive in the future. NGPF invests in teacher professional development with live Virtual Professional Development, 10 Certification Courses, and 40+ asynchronous On-Demand modules. NGPF has been recognized by Common Sense Education as a "Top Website for Teachers to Find Lesson Plans" and "Best Business and Finance Games" and also named NGPF a "Selection for Learning." Visit ngpf.org for more.

Tim Ranzetta
NGPF Mission 2030 Fund/
Next Gen Personal Finance

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SOURCE Next Gen Personal Finance