Michigan will be the 14th state to make personal finance education mandatory

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer poses during an event where General Motors announced an investment of more than $7 billion in four Michigan manufacturing sites on January 25, 2022 in Lansing, Michigan.

Jeff Kowalsky | AFP | Getty Images

Michigan high school students will soon be guaranteed a course in personal finance before they graduate.

The Michigan House of Representatives on Tuesday passed HB 5190 by a vote of 94-13. The bill passed the state Senate in May with a 35-2 vote. Then it will be sent to Governor Gretchen Whitmer to sign the law.

His signing will make Michigan the 14th state to mandate personal finance education at the high school level, according to Next Gen Personal Finance’s bill tracker.

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“At the most fundamental level, a secondary education should prepare students for adult life,” Rep. Diana Farrington, R-Utica, sponsor of the bill, said in a statement.

“Personal finance should be part of that academic preparation,” she added. “A financial literacy course will familiarize students with key financial concepts, helping them understand how to manage their personal budget.”

Invoice details

Michigan law requires all high school students to take a half-credit course in personal finance before graduating. This course may be considered a math, arts, language, or non-English language requirement at the discretion of local school boards.

The bill, once signed into law, will come into effect for students beginning eighth grade in the 2023 school year.

The Michigan House first passed the legislation in December with a 57-43 vote. It was amended and sent to the Senate, where it passed in May. Because the bill was amended, the House had to vote on it again before it could send it to the governor.

The legislation was supported by the Michigan Bankers Association, the Michigan Credit Union League and the Michigan Council for Economic Education. Additionally, two of the state’s largest school districts, Oakland Schools and the Wayne County Regional Educational Services Agency, supported the bill.

A growing trend

The legislation is the latest to pass with overwhelming bipartisan support. Earlier this year, Florida and Georgia passed similar laws guaranteeing access to a personal finance course for all students.

“In an era of polarization, this seems like something everyone can agree on,” said Tim Ranzetta, co-founder of Next Gen Personal Finance.