Making sure your children know the basics when it comes to their finances could soon be a graduation requirement in the state of Wisconsin.
Lawmakers introduced a bill earlier this month that would require high school seniors to pass a course covering budgeting expenses, handling debt, and doing taxes. Some Wisconsin high schools, including those in Door and Kewaunee counties, have already added it to their curriculum. According to WKBT in LaCrosse, West Salem High School has had such a course as a graduation requirement for over a decade while WPR reports that Oconomowoc High School has it had in place since 2017. Milwaukee Public Schools is hoping to have such a requirement in place by 2028.
In Door and Kewaunee counties, Money Management Counselors in Sturgeon Bay has been doing financial literacy programs with the school districts for 27 years. While COVID-19 has restricted what they have been able to do in-person locally, a grant from the Green Bay Packers Foundation is helping the organization develop an in-person and online program for elementary and middle school students. Money Management Counselors Executive Director Leslie Boden says financial literacy is something kids should master before they go off into the real world.
The bill is currently opposed by the Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance and the Wisconsin Association of School Boards, calling it an unfunded mandate.