Unlocking Financial Literacy: Pennsylvania Takes the Lead in Introducing Personal Finance Classes for Students
For decades, Pennsylvania has overlooked a crucial and yet vitally important component of a student’s education: financial literacy. While algebra, biology and literature make up some of the necessities for students to graduate, modern financial literacy is now a core building block of the educational system. Thanks to Senate Bill 843, which was swiftly approved by lawmakers last week, students across the state will start to gain access to an essential life skills lesson.
Financial Education: An Unbelievably Late Epiphany
Public schools in Pennsylvania were established Constitutionally in 1789, but it would be 45 years later before the Free Public School System Act passed and formalized this sweet-spot of the USA. Today, education makes up a whopping 39% of the state’s total budget, creating a tricky balance between finances and resources for the government and individuals alike. Despite its relevance, financial literacy has never been a priority – that is, until now.
Monessen Leads the Way in Preparing Students for the Future
Fortunately, developments are now afoot to ensure Pennsylvania’s students are better versed in the field of money, budgeting and debt management. Several school districts, such as Monessen, have already pushed forward and implemented personal finance classes into their curriculums, plus colleges have followed suit in response to sky-rocketing tuition fees. Monessen’s good work is now making a state-wide impact; effective from the 2026-27 school year, a personal finance class will become mandatory in order to graduate from school.
Why Weren’t These Classes a Priority Before?
It’s fair to question why this financial foundation wasn’t laid out for Pennsylvania’s students sooner. While mathematics fields like algebra can help to develop skills and mind-sets that are applicable to any career, nothing has a more direct impact on a person’s present and future than understanding how to handle personal money and finances. So, better late than never, the state can finally join the ranks of other pioneering educational systems who have placed a priority on financial literacy.
What Can We Learn?
We can learn so much from the Pennsylvania example; governments should never wait for a crisis to become aware of the need for, and value of, introducing financial training for its citizens. Additionally, it’s a reminder that financial literacy and budgeting can never start too early. Here’s to a brighter, more literate financial future for the Keystone State!