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North Dakota Senate Flunks Financial Education Bill
BISMARCK, N.D. (4/11/13)--As credit unions celebrate financial literacy month throughout April, it is disappointing that North Dakota House Bill 1217--a bill related to providing instruction in personal finance in middle schools--was defeated in the State Senate this week on a 45-2 vote, according to the Credit Union Association of the Dakotas.

The defeat was due in part to the Senate Education committee unanimously reporting back the bill as "Do not Pass." That is in contrast to the North Dakota House where it received overwhelming support on a 90-2 vote, said Jeff Olson, CUAD vice president of advocacy and awareness (The Memo April 9).

"CUAD testified in support of it," Olson told News Now. "Basically the same bill was passed two years ago for grades 10, 11 and 12. It's mind-boggling that it got opposition in the Senate after the manner that it got passed in the House."

The bill is now dead, he added. The Senate said financial education already is being taught in schools and there is no need for the new mandated legislation, he said. Also, since so many other curricula issues--such as bullying, nutrition, sex education, drugs and alcohol, AIDs and suicide--are already mandated, the Senate did not want to continue adding more mandated curricula, a Senate Education Committee member told Olson.  

The bill mandated inclusion of concepts of personal finance in the curriculum of grades seven and eight, calling on each school district to "develop a curriculum for personal finance in consultation with the department of career and technical education." 

The curriculum was to include:

  • Checkbook mechanics--including writing checks, balancing and statement reconciliation;
  • Saving for larger purchases;
  • Credit--including credit card use, interest and fees;
  • Earning power--including jobs for teenagers;
  • Taxation and paycheck withholdings;
  • Making a budget and living within it; and
  • Consumer rights and responsibilities.
The instruction would have been provided by a regular classroom teacher.
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