A steering committee of members from around the state of Montana have been working with Superintendent Elsie Arntzen and the OPI to update an area of graduation that the committee feels is lacking. Financial Literacy is a topic that has been discussed for a long time.  The committee has moved the subject forward, and now it is time for public comment before enacting this into the school curriculum.


The overview from the final report submitted by Superintendent Arntzen says:

"The Superintendent of Public Instruction launched an amendment process for the Administrative Rules of Montana (ARM) 10, Chapter 55, Standards of Accreditation, in the fall of 2020. This document provides for consideration of the Montana Board of Public Education (BPE) the Superintendent’s recommended amendments to Chapter 55. It includes an introduction to Montana’s school accreditation standards; a summary of the research and review activities that informed the Superintendent’s consideration and deliberation with stakeholders; the Superintendent’s proposed amendments, consisting of both the rationales for the amendments and their proposed specific language (i.e., “redlines”); and a draft economic impact statement for the proposed amendments as required by Montana Code Annotated (MCA) § 2-4-405."

I am not an attorney as most of our readers, so if I understand this, it is a legalize statement letting the public know that OPI is moving forward with the following idea:

 Five Principles for effective Financial Education, Legislation and Policy:

1) Guarantees a one-semester personal finance course to all students before they graduate from high school AND is offered in students' junior or senior year

2) Utilizes standards for the course as developed by Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Finance/ Council for Economic Education (CEE) OR utilizes high quality standards that already exist and have been updated within last 5 years

3) Ensures highly qualified and confident teachers are in every finance classroom

4) Recent laws have provided more flexibility on the graduation requirement that the personal finance course will fulfill

5) Establishes a schedule that allows adequate time to ensure successful implementation

How does this affect you?

Depending on when this goes into effect (provided it is implemented by the OPI) your student may be required to add a course to fulfill graduation requirements.

How can you get involved?

OPI wants to hear from you about this potential change in graduation.  requirements. Written public comment can be sent to bpe@mt.gov.

I am in agreement that financial literacy is a great subject for our kids to learn.  One of the hardest adjustments kids have (at least I did) is how to deal with money out in "the real world." OPI wants to know what you think.

Supporting documents:

Final Report of proposed Amendments 

Chapter 55 – Blackline Clean Copy of New Proposed Rules

Photo credit:  Getty Images

More From KMON Country 560 AM