SB-342 adjusts the history-social science curriculum framework to include fundamental, age-appropriate instruction on financial literacy for Kindergarten through 12th grade education.
Under current law, the state Instructional Quality Commission, charged with creating curriculum within California, is directed to consider including financial literacy content for K through 12 education. While the Commission has created a history-social science curriculum framework, this financial literacy content has not been fully incorporated.
California is estimated to have lost $1.3 trillion dollars linked to learning loss during the pandemic. The Federal National Assessment of Educational Progress found that K through 12 students today, on average, are becoming less educated, lower skilled, and less productive adults. Students linked to these impacts can expect to earn 5.6% less income over the course of their lives.
Nationwide there is a growing movement to provide financial education for the next generation of students and California cannot afford to fall behind. Research shows that students who have access to high-quality financial education have better financial outcomes as adults, resulting in less debt and a higher quality of life. Currently, 15 states require students to take a full course on personal finance before graduating. However, according to a Next Gen Personal Finance report, while 70% of high school students nationwide have access to a personal finance elective or guaranteed course, only 26% of students in California participate.
SB-342 ensures the Instructional Quality Commission shall include financial literacy in K through 12 education in the next revision of the curriculum framework, without creating an additional class. This is an especially critical moment to prioritize financial literacy as rising inflation begins forcing California families to face tough economic choices.