Junior Achievement Promotes and Supports the Financial Literacy Bill Signed by Governor Whitmer
Grand Rapids, Mich. - Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes (JAMGL) and their districts in northern, southwest and mid-Michigan, commend and support Governor Gretchen Whitmer in signing HB-5190; a bill requiring all Michigan high schoolers to take a half credit financial literacy course as part of the Michigan Merit Curriculum graduation requirements. The bill does not add an additional half credit, but instead allows one semester of personal finance to replace a math, visual arts or foreign language credit. The bill was sponsored by House Financial Services Chairwoman Diana Farrington, and Representative(s) Jeff Yaroch, Douglas Wozniak, Sue Allor, Gary Howell, Ann Bollin, Helena Scott, Sarah Lightner, Julie Alexander, Steve Marino and Shri Thanedar.
“We are grateful to the legislators from across the aisle who sponsored this bill along with the support from Governor Whitmer,” said Bill Coderre, JAMGL President and CEO. “This is very important legislation. It’s important to our students, it’s important to our communities and it’s important to our state’s future.”
The bill was supported by a coalition of stakeholders from across the state who worked diligently with lawmakers to share the benefits of the bill to our students and our state. In additional to Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes, stakeholders included: Association of Builders and
Contractors, Ballmer Group, Catholic Conference, Community Bankers of Michigan, CEDAM, Gilbert Group, Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce, Michigan Bankers Association, Michigan Certified Public Accountants, Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Michigan Credit Union League, Habitat for Humanity, Michigan Mortgage Lenders, Money Matters for Youth, National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, Next-Gen Financial Literacy, Oakland School District, REALTORS® Association, Small Business Association of Michigan and the Wayne Regional Education Service Agency.
“Junior Achievement is excited to partner with area schools to bring its proven financial literacy curriculum to high school classrooms across the region as part of this requirement,” said Coderre. “Sixty percent (60%) of students who were raised in lower income homes but have Junior Achievement programming in school report that they are in middle to upper income brackets as adults due to the financial literacy learning they received. We are pleased have the support of our legislators in bringing this type of impactful learning to even more students from across our state.”
One new opportunity that JA will be bringing to high school students is the chance to spend the day in its new facility in the Karl and Susan Hascall JA Finance Park®. The Karl and Susan Hascall JA Finance Park® delivers financial independence skills to 8th-12th grade students. Students spend twelve classroom sessions preparing for the experience. Their day at JA Finance Park® involves a randomly-assigned career and family scenario. Participants create a monthly budget based on their income and family situation all in a safe space to learn. This new experience will be made available to students and schools from across West Michigan.
About Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes (JAMGL)
Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes is the nation’s 21st largest JA chapter and an area office of JA USA, the world’s largest organization dedicated to educating students about workforce readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs. The organization offers programs to help prepare young people in Mid, West, and Northern Michigan for the real world by showing them how to generate wealth and effectively manage it, how to create jobs which make their communities more robust, and how to apply entrepreneurial thinking to the workplace. Students put these lessons into action and are empowered to own their economic success. Visit www.westmichigan.ja.org for more information.
About Junior Achievement USA® (JA)
Junior Achievement is the world's largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices. JA programs are delivered by corporate and community volunteers, and provide relevant, hands-on experiences that give students from kindergarten through high school knowledge and skills in financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship. Today, JA reaches 4.6 million students per year in 112 markets across the United States, with an additional 5.6 million students served by operations in 121 other countries worldwide. Visit www.ja.org for more information.