Personal finance courses get a boost in Pennsylvania schools

Milford. The bill sponsored by Rep. Rosemary Brown was signed Nov. 29 by Gov. Tom Wolf and takes effect next year. The new law will also return arrest powers to school police officers.

04 Dec 2019 | 12:04

Pennsylvania will require public schools to allow students to apply personal finance class credits toward high school graduation requirements.

Gov. Tom Wolf signed the bill on Nov. 29, and it will take effect in the 2020-21 school year.

Under the new requirement, a student who successfully completes a high school course in personal finance will be allowed to apply up to one credit to satisfy social studies, math, business education or family and consumer science requirements for graduation.

"Having the ability to gain basic knowledge and understanding of financial resources is crucial for our children today so they have the education to help them with real-world decisions," said PA Rep. Rosemary Brown (R-Monroe/Pike), who sponsored the bill. "This legislation acts as an incentive for students to take financial literacy credits by allowing the coursework to satisfy a graduation requirement for social studies, family and consumer science, mathematics or business education.”

She said the law will allow public schools the discretion to determine the graduation credit requirement.

"I encourage parents and guardians to discuss with their children financial literacy coursework and how they can work it into their schedule before graduation," Brown said.

The legislation would also amend the school code based on the feedback from schools.

In addition, Brown said, House Bill 49 returns arrest powers to school police officers, amends training deadlines, extends the Higher Education Commission reporting deadline, and provides specifics when a student seeks a fostering independence waiver.

“I have been advocating for financial literacy education policy for the past six years and have worked diligently supporting financial reality fairs and more in the district," Brown said. "I am thankful for the bipartisan support I have received to get this bill to the finish line."

"Having the ability to gain basic knowledge and understanding of financial resources is crucial for our children today so they have the education to help them with real-world decisions. This legislation acts as an incentive for students to take financial literacy credits by allowing the coursework to satisfy a graduation requirement.” -- PA Rep. Rosemary Brown