AZ Senator wants to require finance curriculum in high schools - FOX 35 News Orlando

AZ Senator wants to require finance curriculum in high schools

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PHOENIX -

The state of Arizona has the 6th highest teen unemployment rate in the nation – 28.7 percent. A state senator is now working to change that.

Senator Kimberly Yee is sponsoring SB 1449 -- which will require high schools students to be proficient in more than math, science, writing, and reading when they graduate.

If it becomes law, SB 1449 will require students to be proficient in finance. The bill passed the Senate Education Committee unanimously earlier this week.

"A problem that students face almost every day."

This is marketing 1-2 at Camelback High School -- a class that teaches basic finance skills like budgeting, a subject most teens don't know much about.

"I personally know what those things are, but I've never done them nor do I have any experience in it I feel like a class in it would help," says student Luis Barcello.

In Arizona, students have to pass competency tests in reading, writing and math to graduate high school -- but not finance.

"Everybody has to deal with money. Money's a life skill and you have a choice, you're either a master of your money or a slave to your money," says CPA Sharon Lechter.

Sharon Lechter, founder of Pay Your Family First, knows firsthand how easily teens stray. Her oldest son racked up credit debt in college.

She has dedicated her career to teaching young adults the importance of budgets and is now backing Senate Bill 1449, which would require a minimum course of study and competency requirements in finance for high school graduation.

Senator Kimberly Yee sponsored the bill.

"The primary emphasis of the bill was to allow for local flexibility, and local school districts can make the decision on how they are going to proceed in incorporating these personal finance skills," says Sen. Yee, District 20.

If it passes, changes could come in the fall, and finance could be taught in any class. It's a subject teens we spoke to are eager to learn.

"Our entire economy is based on this kind of stuff so I think it's really necessary for students to have this class. I know personally it would help me a lot, I only know just the few basics, but I don't know exactly how to get there, so this class I believe will help me get there," says student Maria Guzman.

The bill was presented to state senators Wednesday afternoon. They could take a vote by the end of the week.

Senator Yee tells us there is free material on line that can be used by any school to incorporate finance into the curriculum.

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