SPRINGFIELD – Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford championed a measure to require high school students to learn financial literacy.

“When young people leave high school, they are given the freedom to spend and manage their money how they see fit with little or no guidance beyond what they’ve witnessed at home,” said Lightford (D-Maywood). “By requiring financial literacy instruction, we are equipping our young people with the ability to do things like manage a household budget, save for a home or be aware of financial fraud schemes. These are important life skills that every person can utilize.”

Under Lightford’s measure, high school students would be required to learn about financial literacy. The instruction would focus on basic economics, the principles of supply and demand, how to budget income responsibly, loan repayment, and the cost of high-interest short-term “payday” loans.

According to a 2022 Citizens Bank survey, more than half of teenagers said they were worried and felt unprepared for their financial futures. The research highlighted the need for additional resources to assist them in making financial decisions that impact them over the long term – including proper education on how to set themselves up for success.

“Teens should leave high school with the confidence that they know how to handle the financial decisions of their future,” said Lightford. “Education goes far beyond a textbook – it’s also about learning long-lasting life skills.”

House Bill 1375 passed the Senate Wednesday with bipartisan support.