SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois schools will be required to teach financial literacy skills such as balancing a checkbook and putting money into a savings account this school year.
The Illinois State Board of Education adopted revised social science standards in 2015, according to The Springfield Journal-Register .
Those standards were approved in February 2016 and include financial literacy throughout elementary, middle and high school.
The Illinois Treasurer’s Office, nonprofit Econ Illinois and Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation pushed for the financial literacy standards.
Raising the level of financial proficiency will help improve the economic strength of the state, according to supporters.
Nearly two million Illinois residents are liquid asset poor, meaning that they do not have enough savings to live above the poverty level for just three months if they lose a job, face a medical crisis or suffer another income disruption, the newspaper reported.
“When individuals are provided a financial literacy foundation, they are more inclined to make educated personal finance decisions that lead to wealth accumulation,” Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation Bryan Schneider said in a statement.
President and executive director of Econ Illinois, Nancy Harrison, said the standards begin basic concepts at the elementary level.
As students get older, they will learn about advantages of putting money into a bank, having a good credit score and about investment options, such as mutual funds or riskier options like individual stocks.
“We’re filling in the blanks for teachers,” Harrison said.
Illinois is one of 45 states to add financial literacy into its standards.