Proposed Calif. initiative would require personal finance class for high schools

California students would be required to learn about handling their personal finances if a proposed initiative is approved.

California voters could require all high school students to take a class on personal finance. 

Monday, California Secretary of State Shirley Weber announced that a proposed ballot initiative to enforce such a class entered into circulation. 


The big picture: If voters approve the initiative, a one-semester personal finance course would be added to public high school graduation requirements. 

  • Schools would be required to have students take the course beginning with the class of 2030, meaning it would start by the 2026-2027 school year. 
  • Current requirements include one semester of an economics course, which are not required to include personal finance curriculum. 
  • Students could fulfill the requirement by completing an existing University of California-approved personal finance course, or a new course. 
  • The state estimates that schools would see a potential increase in costs in the “high tens of millions” of dollars for the first few years before declining over time. 
  • Timothy Ranzetta, the founder of nonprofit Next Gen Personal Finance, and attorney Christopher Kaufman submitted the initiative to the state. 

What we’re watching: In order to be placed on the ballot, proponents need to collect 546,651 signatures – five percent of the total votes cast for governor in November 2022. 

  • Signatures need to be submitted by May 7. 
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