The Montgomery County Board of Education voted 5-3 against financial literacy course requirements for high school students, on Tuesday. Proposed by the student member of the board, (SMOB) Hana O’Looney, the program’s intent is to help MCPS students be informed about finance so that they are appropriately prepared for the future.
“Honestly, as a school system, I don’t think our job is done with our students and we can confidently say our students are really ready for college, career and community until they have these basic fundamental skills,” O’Looney said, according to Bethesda Magazine. She added, “Paying taxes is not an optional thing in life, so I don’t think, personally, learning how to manage that process should be an optional process for students.”
MCPS employees said that roughly 65% of parents voted for the course to be required, as well as 36% of the students surveyed. The SMOB also stated, “I don’t want any more situations where we have as graduates who… trusted MCPS education to serve as a foundation for the rest of their life and find out it hasn’t been and they’re not able to manage their finances and find themselves continually locked in what can be a cycle of poverty.”
The board is waiting to see what other school systems are doing with optional or required financial literacy classes, and whether or not they are successful.