New Jersey Enacts CU-Backed Legislation Requiring Financial Literacy Education

New Jersey Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver has signed legislation that requires school districts to provide financial literacy education to middle school students in grades six through eight.

The legislation had the backing of the New Jersey Credit Union League, including during committee hearings as the legislation was being considered. It was signed by the lieutenant governor because Gov. Phil Murphy was out of the country, making Oliver acting governor.

The financial literacy instruction will emphasize budgeting, saving, credit, debt, insurance, investment, and other issues associated with personal financial responsibility to ensure New Jersey’s youth have access to the tools and foundation needed for sound financial decision-making, the NJCUL said.

“We supported this bill on behalf of New Jersey consumers, including those in middle school who are at the perfect age to learn personal finance skills and build good habits that will last them a lifetime,” NJCUL President/CEO David Frankil said. “Our credit unions will be right there to help schools meet this new mandate, whether it be through the New Jersey Credit Union Foundation’s Reality Fair program, which already reaches hundreds of middle school students a year, or other financial education.”

Primary sponsors of the bill include Senators Dawn Marie Addiego (R-8) and Ron Rice (D-28), and Assembly members Angela McKnight (D-31), Nicholas Chiaravalloti (D-31), Eliana Pintor Marin (D-29), Jamel Holley (D-20), Benjie Wimberly (D-35), and Annette Quijano (D-20).

‘Success in Life’
“I am delighted the financial literacy bill was signed into law. Financial responsibility is an important acquired and learned life skill and with the increasing financial challenges Millennials face, it is a skill that must be a necessary part of our educational curriculum,” Oliver said. “Governor Murphy and I are happy to partner with the Legislature by signing this bill today to help New Jersey students learn how to effectively manage their personal finances and help set them up for success in life.”