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Jones re-ups bill to increase focus on financial literacy in school

U.S. Sen. Doug Jones, D-Alabama — alongside Sen. Kristen Gillibrand, D-New York, and Maggie Hassan, D-New Hampshire — have reintroduced The Youth Financial Learning Act of 2019.

The bill would implement a grant program within the U.S. Department of Education aimed to help states create and sustain financial literacy programs in schools.

It would also encourage local partnerships to promote financial literacy among school-age children.

According to a 2017 report by Champlain College on state efforts to improve financial literacy in high schools, Alabama was one of five states that made an A grade. The grade was given because of Alabama’s full-year personal finance course requirement in order to graduate.

Alabama does not, however, include standardized testing on personal finances, according to a survey from the Council of Economic Education. Only seven states in the U.S. include standardized testing on financial literacy.

“For many of our high school students, they will soon face major financial decisions that can have a lasting impact on their future,” Jones said. “By providing them with the financial literacy skills they need, they can make smarter, more informed choices about taking on the expense and commitment of (a) loan. Alabama is leading the way by requiring personal financial education, and through my legislation, I hope we can help more young folks better prepare to go to college, buy a home or start a business.”

Jones is a member of the Senate Committees on Banking and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

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