Education Task Force Bill Passes in Senate, Sent to House

A bill that would create a task force to improve financial literacy education in Utah schools passed the Senate this morning and will be sent to the House for final consideration. The bill’s sponsor, Democratic Senator Patricia W. Jones of Salt Lake, says that the task force would help to focus existing programs to make students better understand practical financial concepts.

“Senate Bill 43 tightens up financial and economic literacy programs in K-12 in our schools and would create a state office of education task force so that our students can learn important things having to do with the economy and financial literacy in our schools,” she said.

If Senate Bill 43 passes, the task force it creates would be made up of representatives from the State Board of Education, school districts, charter schools and private or public organizations that teach financial education.

During a meeting of the Senate Education Committee last week, Preston Cochrane, CEO of the Fair Credit Foundation, spoke in favor of the bill.

“If we are to have a skilled workforce, and if we are to make sure that our students are ready to enter the workforce, we need to make sure that not only are they prepared with [general] skills, but that they also have the financial skills,” Cochrane said.

The legislation would require the task force to recommend changes to financial course standards in its first year, and to study creating an online assessment of financial literacy. The bill been sent to the House for consideration.