Clarification of act to promote financial literacy

This dispatch clarifies the requirements of LD 843 (Public Law Chapter 244), An Act to Promote the Financial Literacy of High School Students, passed by the Legislature this past session. The legislation further emphasizes the teaching of financial literacy that is already included in the standards for students at the secondary level.

The Maine Learning Results for Social Studies call for instruction in personal finance at all grade spans. Each school administrative unit determines whether to teach financial literacy as a separate course or to integrate it with other courses. Districts may provide students with multiple pathways and opportunities to demonstrate achievement of standards. In other words, it is acceptable for personal finance to be taught through a course other than social studies.

As a result of the legislation, Sec. 1. 20-A MRSA §4722, sub-§2, ¶B, as amended by PL 2011, c. 294, §1, is further amended to read:

B. Social studies and history, including American history, government and civics–2, civics and personal finance–2 years;

Sec. 2. 20-A MRSA §6209, sub-§4, as amended by PL 2007, c. 259, §5, is further amended to read:

4. Review cycle. The commissioner shall conduct a review of the content standards and performance indicators by content area on a 5-year cycle beginning in the 2015-2016 school year. The review of the content standards and performance indicators for the content area of social studies, including student achievement of proficiency in personal finance, must be included in the commissioner’s review during the 2015-2016 school year. Any changes that are recommended must be approved through the same process used for establishment of the system of learning results.

For more information, contact Kristie Littlefield, Maine DOE social studies specialist, at kristie.littlefield@maine.gov or 207-624-6828.

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