Home Education Altered financial literacy bill still finds the numbers to continue

Altered financial literacy bill still finds the numbers to continue


Altered financial literacy bill still finds the numbers to continue

The House Education Committee on Wednesday unanimously passed a watered-down version of bipartisan Senate Bill 35, which would require Indiana’s high-school students to study financial literacy.

Amendment 4, by Rep. Robert Behning, R-Indianapolis, removed the requirement for state-accredited nonpublic schools. It also allows the curriculum to be inserted into pre-existing courses rather than be moved into separate courses.

One of SB 35’s authors, Sen. Mike Gaskill, R-Pendleton, urged the committee topass the bill without the amendment. He said the new curriculum should apply to all schools and be a full semester or year-long course—more extensive than just a unit within another course.

Other opposition for the amendment came after it was passed, when public testimony was heard.

Present to support the bill were representatives from the Indiana Association of School Principals, the Indiana Credit Union League, the Indiana Association for Community Economic Development, the Indiana Bankers Association, and the Indiana Small and Rural Schools Association. Overall, many of those who testified agreed that they supported the bill with the amendment but preferred it without.

Chris Logoni, executive director of the Small and Rural Schools Association, testified in support of SB 35 in its original form, without Amendment 4 changes. He suggested offering students a test-out option to allow more time for other courses to be taken.

“As we are adding expectations to the diploma, I think we are going to have to come up with some flexible ways to implement it,” he said.

John O’Neal, a lobbyist with Indiana State Teachers Association, emphasized the need for the financial literacy curriculum to receive the necessary financial support. He stated that ISTA supports the bill but would like to see it applied to all schools and for teachers and school districts to be involved moving forward.

“We also understand that should this pass, there does need to be funding and resource issues looked at to make sure this is not yet another unfunded mandate by the legislature on school districts,” said O’Neal.

FOOTNOTE: Kyra Howard is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.