Prince George’s County Public Schools will require high school students to take a financial literacy class in order to graduate. (Courtesy of Junior Achievement)
Prince George’s County Public Schools will require high school students to take a financial literacy class in order to graduate. (Courtesy of Junior Achievement)

Prince George’s County Public Schools will join a handful of other educational systems in Maryland to make financial literacy a graduation requirement for high school students.

Each county high school will offer it as a course in two years, but full implementation as a graduation requirement won’t begin until the 2023-24 school year. Besides updating the curriculum, about 40 extra full-time teachers and staffers would be needed.

“What we don’t realize is that our students begin to receive applications to get credit cards while they are still in high school and not fully understanding what debt can do early on to their livelihood and future as they’re growing up,” public schools CEO Monica Goldson said Friday, April 17. “They need to understand about loans when going to college. It helps them to truly understand what they’re making a commitment to.”

Prince George’s is now one of eight state school systems, including neighboring Charles County, to implement such a program, offering it as either a half- or full-credit stand-alone course.

According to a resolution approved by the school board on April 15, it would cost about $4 million to incorporate the program.

The instruction students would receive includes:

• Revenues and expenditures in a household.

• Analyzing the meaning of sales, income and property taxes.

• Managing debt and credit.

• Strategies for saving and investment.

“Everyone understands the importance of money, but not everyone knows how to use it to set themselves up for future success and financial stability,” school member Raaheela Ahmed said Friday, April 17. “That knowledge gap is part of what causes inequity in our communities.”

Although financial literacy will remain an elective course in high school for the next two years, middle school students receive some fiscal education thanks to the Junior Achievement Finance Park in Landover.

Students must complete coursework before taking a field trip to the park to receive hands-on experience to balance a budget at makeshift storefronts to purchase groceries, a home and even health insurance.

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, financial literacy became a topic earlier this year nationwide to push for additional student achievement.

The Council for Economic Education of New York City recently released a “Survey of the States” report in February. Although all school systems include some form of financial education in kindergarten through 12th grade, the report said D.C., Maryland and 25 other states don’t require high school students to take an economics course.

Some lawmakers and parents in Maryland haven’t supported it on a statewide level. Last year, the state Parent Teacher Organization wrote a letter in opposition to the course, calling it another unnecessary graduation requirement forced upon high school students.

“Without education being fully funded there is uncertainty that each high school can hire a teacher to offer a half semester exclusive instruction in financial literacy,” Latisha Corey, PTA president, wrote in February 2019. “At this time, Maryland needs time to refocus the needs and priority of students without adding measures to possibly defray their graduation.”

Because the Maryland General Assembly ended nearly three weeks early in March because of the coronavirus outbreak, financial literacy legislation from Del. Jay Walker (D-District 26) of Fort Washington didn’t get reviewed out of the Ways and Means Committee.

“You kind of question why it took so long, but at the end of the day, I’m glad we are doing the right thing,” said Walker, who presented state legislation on the topic for the past several years. “Hopefully, this will build momentum and take it across the state.”

Coverage for the Washington Informer includes Prince George’s County government, school system and some state of Maryland government. Received an award in 2019 from the D.C. Chapter of the Society of...

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  1. Financial Literacy to be Required in Prince George’s Schools
    Photo of William J. Ford – Washington Informer Staff Writer William J. Ford – Washington Informer Staff Writer Follow on TwitterSend an emailApril 22, 2020 ( You can reach me several ways: Twitter @jabariwill, Instagram will_iam.ford2281 or e-mail, )

    William , I read the article and I was shocked as well as very surprised to see that PG County has made this move to bring financial literacy into the public school in the state of Maryland, you put into words for many to see and read like me. But William, what I can’t understand is why some patents and the PTA oppose this as being a graduation requirement. This is a good thing when our kids are learning these specific monetary skill sets at the High School, I hope soon someday it will be taught as well as the Middle / Junior High School level as well. I was taught Economics in a half semester at Eastern High School , Washington, DC 1977 ( Early Graduate ) ; this class was my last period (7th). It changed my life with respect to how I at 17 yrs old now looked at finance differently, upon graduation that June , I entered the US Navy and began buying savings bonds, CD’s checking / savings accounts , credit cards and Mutual Funds and other financial investments that led to me accumulating additional assets in my portfolio which led to purchasing equity stocks , real estate , as well as physical Gold and Silver. All from that one half credit / half semester Economics class , and I was living in the Projects in S.E. Today, I live in PG County/ Laurel MD ( Dist. 4 / Congressman Anthony Brown ) , work for the federal government as a GS-14; preparing for retirement at in the nest 2-3 years at 62 yrs ; with a very comfortable financial future ahead of me in my retirement years based much upon that one Economics Class , William that opened my eyes and changed how I saw money working for me rather me working for it….. This is what those patents and PTA members don’t either see or understand themselves based on our kids, they are lost when it comes to financing , a car a home their own education even their basic needs, And I blame it on the parents, not making them aware of the inner-workings of the dollar you earn and the 50 cents you save/ invest . As well as teach them about compound interest when it comes to the The rule of 72: (The Rule of 72 is a simple way to determine how long an investment will take to double given a fixed annual rate of interest. By dividing 72 by the annual rate of return, investors obtain a rough estimate of how many years it will take for the initial investment to duplicate itself)

    William , I will end here because this is a subject matter that I can go on and on about, due to the kids I see and interact with that can’t do simple math in their head to make change for you and they work behind a cash register. They are in their 20’s, and they think it’s me messing with them when I give them change to round -up so they will not give me a change / pennies back. It’s as if they are left dumful not knowing what to do….This is shame on us and a reflection on us as parents as well as the education systems our kids are subjected to….I wonder what the Congressional Reps/ Md Delegates are saying about this measure to change the system with this Financial Literacy requirement at the High School level. I say report on them as well as get their position on the record, this should be something you would think they would get behind. But as recently based on my interaction with the MD Senate and House with respect to Veteran Care and treatment at the VAMC’s …its if they have turned a blind eye to these concerns and will not engage for some reason . Not just one or two …. it’s all for them when you mention what’s going on as it relates to Veteran care and treatment as well as Veterans attempting to get their VA Compensation and using their elected official to assist , they get very quiet and don’t respond back.

    William that may be another story you and I can follow-up on at a late date.. Please feel free to contact me Hm 3018544717 and Cell 2404765377

    Edwin S. Cooke
    US Navy Veteran 1977-985
    Service Connected (90%) VA Disability / 50% for (PTSD)
    Federal Employee 35+ years of active federal service

    Ps… Both of my kids grew up in the MD school , my son right here in Laurel MD ; He has his own business and works for Howard County where he also attends school, and my daughter spent all her primary education years, K-12th grade in the Montgomery County School system…. She has two Masters Degrees from the ( University of Tenn. ) and she work for the Pentagon , both know and understand the Economics of the Dollar, because I have taught them over the years when they were so young that they tease me about it today, when I had them at the computer growing up and reading the newspaper ( The money section and always talking to them about stocks and bonds and my portfolio and theirs which I created for them … both having ATM / Debit cards with pins before they were 10yrs..) , which they still have today with Navy Federal Credit Union. Daughter 34 and Son 29 years old !

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