The state grades in this report are based on a review of financial literacy legislation summaries maintained by National Conference of State Legislatures for the last 14 years (1999 to 2012)1 ; on data compiled by the JumpStart Coalition on Personal Financial Literacy (their on-line data on state financial education requirements)2; the Council for Economic Education's 2011 Survey of the States3; and research done on individual states when inconsistencies existed between the various sources or additional information on a particular topic was warranted.
It is quite possible that some of the grades in this report are based on incomplete or inaccurate information and are thus might be too severe or too lenient for a particular state. We want the grades to be based on the best information possible, and welcome any corrections or additional data and encourage you to send any information that you believe we should be made aware of to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Quick Guide to the Grading System:
The state requires a standalone personal finance course. Alternatively, the state requires that personal finance topics be taught as part of another mandatory course and that students' personal finance knowledge be assessed.
The state mandates personal finance education as part of another course offering, but requires no assessment. In some cases, there may be a math course that includes a partial assessment of personal finance knowledge.
The state requires that a personal finance elective course be offered or that personal finance topics be taught, but there is no accountability: No one checks to see if personal finance is being integrated into a course, and no specific course is designated as the delivery mechanism. Students are not assessed on these topics.
The state allows schools to teach personal finance as an elective, but study is not required for graduation.
The state has few requirements, or none at all, for personal finance education in high school.
1National Conference of State Legislatures; for 2004-2012 legislative summaries see: http://www.ncsl.org/issues-research/banking/financial-literacy-2012-legislation.aspx; for 2003: http://www.ncsl.org/issues-research/banking/financial-literacy-2003-legislation.aspx; for 2002: http://www.ncsl.org/issues-research/banking/financial-literacy-2002-legislation.aspx; for 2001: http://www.ncsl.org/issues-research/banking/financial-literacy-2001-legislation.aspx; for 2000: http://www.ncsl.org/issues-research/banking/financial-literacy-2000-legislation.aspx; and for 1999: http://www.ncsl.org/issues-research/banking/financial-literacy-1999-legislation.aspx
2The JumpStart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy's State Financial Education Requirements http://www.jumpstart.org/state-financial-education-requirements.html and http://www.jumpstart.org/state-financial-education-requirements-listing.html
32011 Survey of the States released by The Council for Economic Education http://www.councilforeconed.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/2011-Survey-of-the-States.pdf