Asw. McKnight Kicks Off Financial Literacy Lessons as New Mandate Takes Effect

As the new school year commences across the Garden State, it is the first time New Jersey law requires middle school students in grades six through eight be taught financial literacy in the classroom. Asw. Angela McKnight (D-31), the prime sponsor of the bill, along with Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver held the bill signing at President Barack Obama School in Jersey City in January.

The NJCUL actively supported the measure (A1414 2R, now P.L. 2018,c.167) as it worked its way through the Legislature.

Asw. McKnight returned last week to kick off the new era of learning with the students.  The law, provides that the financial literacy lessons “must emphasize budgeting, saving, credit, debt, insurance, investment and other issues associated with personal financial responsibility.”

Students waved pompoms and cheered for savings. “When I say ‘save,’ you say ‘money,’ McKnight shouted to a packed auditorium of students. The pep rally got students ready for the newly required curriculum by getting them to think about how they currently save and spend.

“I wasn’t taught financial literacy when I was growing up,” the assemblywoman told the crowd. “You have the opportunity to not be in debt and to save and to budget for what you want and need,” she explained. Some students shared the stage with her and shared personal stories of saving for a cell phone or to buy their parents a gift.