Governor signs Ackerman, Cano consumer education legislation
PAWTUCKET — Governor Dan McKee, joined by Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos, General Treasurer Seth Magaziner, Sen. Sandra Cano, Deputy Majority Whip Mia A. Ackerman, Education Commissioner Angelica Infante-Green, Pawtucket Mayor Donald R. Grebien and Pawtucket Superintendent Dr. Cheryl McWilliams, today signed into law legislation (2021-H 5491, 2021-S 0349) that will require statewide standards in consumer education in public high schools.
The legislation will require the Council on Elementary and Secondary Education, in consultation with the Rhode Island Department of Education, to develop and approve standards of instruction on personal finance or consumer economic topics of study including installment purchasing, budgeting, credit and the law, employment and income, saving, investing, and money management.
The bill signing took place at Tolman High School, which offers a financial literacy curriculum to its students.
“It is up to us to educate our young people about personal finance,” said Governor Dan McKee. “It is as much a part of their future success as the traditional high school curriculum. This legislation paves the way for all schools to provide the skills young people need to achieve their future financial goals, and ensures that every Rhode Island high school student is equipped with tools to prepare them for economic opportunity after graduation.”
The bill was requested by the office of the General Treasurer.
“Many young people just don’t understand the complexities of credit and debt — what it means to have a mortgage that’s under water, or how high interest rates can bury them in debt for their entire lives,” said Representative Ackerman (D-Dist. 45, Cumberland, Lincoln). “They don’t understand that paying the minimum on their credit card bills will keep them paying forever.”
“How can we expect our children to become financially successful adults if we do not teach them the core aspects of our financial system when they are in school?” said Senator Cano (D-Dist. 8, Pawtucket), who chairs the Senate Education Committee. “This bill will ensure that our children leave the public school system with a firm and knowledgeable grasp on basic financial concepts that will help them succeed in their adult lives.”
The standards must be developed and approved no later than Dec. 31, 2021.
For more information, contact:
Daniel Trafford, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903