In the past few months, I along with Corey Anderson and other NAIFA Minnesota members have been meeting with a group of industry professionals and nonprofits that have combined to create the Financial Literacy Coalition of Minnesota (FLCM). This group is aiming to advance financial literacy for Minnesota youth by requiring a high school course in personal finance to graduate. Over the course of this legislative session, a bill will be in the state legislature to ensure this requirement is implemented. We are proud to be partnering with the FLCM and the Minnesota Council on Economic Education (MCEE) to help accomplish this goal.
I’m including detailed information below and links below – please take a look!
- We are looking for volunteers to visit the Minnesota State Capitol on February 22nd – if you are interested please sign up here (Note: this is separate from the Insurance Day on the Capitol on March 15th)
- Please also sign up at z.umn.edu/FLCMSurvey to advocate for this cause and get email updates!
Brian Fleming, NAIFA Minnesota President
Personal Finance Course Requirement Bill: (One Pager)
Over the past year, a workgroup of the leaders of various teacher subject areas have researched and developed the elements of a bill to require a personal finance course for high school graduation. This would be in addition to the existing high school standards for economics embedded within social studies, which themselves require semester-course-length treatment of economics. Additionally, over the past year a coalition of private and nonprofit sector leaders have come together in the newly named Financial Literacy Coalition of MN (FLCM) to advocate for a required personal finance course bill. This bill is moving this session.
Bill chief authors:
Representative Hodan Hassan will champion the bill as chief author in the House. She plans to engage Minnesota’s Black, Latino, and Asian councils, who have expressed an interest in supporting the bill.
Senator Steve Cwodzinski will be Senate chief author. As Chair of the Education Policy Committee in the Senate, his leadership creates a very positive avenue for success. This bill is a top legislative priority for him.
The number of endorsing organizations and individual advocates is growing:
Endorsing/advocating organizations can help mobilize hundreds of individual members. In addition to MCEE, they include Next Gen Personal Finance (NGPF), Jump$tart MN*, MN Bankers Association (MBA), MN Credit Union Network (MnCUN), Financial Planning Association of MN (FPAMN), National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) - MN, Minnesota Association of Health Underwriters (MAHU), and MN Realtors.
Two other personal finance course related bills you might see:
Rep Hassan has had her personal finance bill from last year jacketed. If the newer Coalition-supported version is delayed due to backups at the Capitol, this former bill will be introduced as a vehicle to which the new bill language can be inserted as a “delete all” amendment in the Education Policy Committees.
Senator Draheim has reintroduced an online personal finance course requirement that he first introduced in 2019, SF242. We don’t expect this bill to advance and will be meeting with Senator Draheim shortly to ask for his support of the newer Coalition-supported bill language.
MCEE Economic and Financial Education Funding Bills:
MCEE funding request through K-12 Education Finance (Case Statement):
- This bill requests $500,000 per year to be included in base funding, to help support MCEE’s teacher training efforts, master teacher program, and development of coursework for economics and personal finance education.
- This represents about half the cost of delivering teacher professional development training to 1000 to 2000 MN teachers each year.
- We have our chief authors lined up. Representative Mary Frances Clardy, the Vice Chair of the Education Finance committee, will carry the bill in the House. Senator Bonnie Westlin will carry the bill in the Senate.
MCEE funding request through financial literacy/consumer education fund in Commerce (Case Statement):
- This bill requests $50,000 per year for the next two years to specifically cover part of the cost of developing curriculum and training materials, delivering teacher professional development, and supporting affiliated student competitions, in the personal finance area.
- Over the next year, these funds will be used for an MCEE convened work group of master teachers, and academic and industry experts to design a 40-50 hour training for high school teachers to teach a semester-length personal finance course aligned with the 2022 CEE/Jumpstart national standards in personal finance.
- We have secured our chief author in the House, Representative Carlie Kotyza-Witthuhn, the Vice Chair of the Commerce committee. We will finalize who will be chief author in the Senate this week.
Action Needed: How you can help!
Action Alert #1: Day at the Capitol Feb 22 - Save the Date for FLCM/MCEE Economic and Financial Literacy Day at the Capitol
The FLCM/MCEE day at the Capitol is February 22 from 8:30 am - Noon. The day will be filled with speeches from key legislation authors and FLCM and MCEE members. Advocates will meet with their legislators to ask them to support the personal finance course requirement bill, a few MCEE funding bills, or both.
Following the morning activities, it is possible a bill or bills will be heard in committees the afternoon of the 22nd. It would be helpful to have supporters in the hearing rooms! So, if you are able to join, please plan to attend. More to come on the hearing dates. Below is a rough schedule for the day:
- 8:30-9:00 am: Go to room G3 (on the ground floor) and check in. Participants will receive talking points and a nametag.
- 9:00-10:00 am: The key legislative authors will come to rally the team. A short training session will provide tips on talking to your legislators.
- 10:00 am-12:30 pm: Attendees will meet with their legislators. These short appointments need to be scheduled in advance. If you have not scheduled an appointment, you can request that legislators step out of committee meetings to briefly meet with you in the hallway. If you cannot attend our day at the capitol, you can also schedule a Zoom meeting with your legislators.
If you’re planning on attending the Day at the Capitol and meeting with your legislators, please RSVP for the event to help with our planning. This is vital to help us coordinate meetings with legislators, especially between multiple constituents with the same legislators. Please RSVP as soon as possible to the event here. If you are unable to arrive between 8:30 and 9 am, you can come at any time. There will always be someone in the gathering room available to brief you and give you further directions whenever you arrive.
Action Alert #2: Sign up to be an Advocate
The FLCM is always looking to expand their advocacy efforts. Advocates can spread the word about the personal finance course requirement initiative and invite more advocates to join. Please consider using the following link to sign up if that interests you! z.umn.edu/FLCMSurvey
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact any of the below signers.
Jason Kley (email@example.com) and Steve Lear (firstname.lastname@example.org), co-coordinators of FLCM, and Julie Bunn, Executive Director of MCEE (email@example.com)