HB 4390 becomes PA 186 of 2015
On November 16 Governor Snyder approved legislation amending the Revised School Code to allow the half-credit economics requirement for a high school diploma to be satisfied by completion of a one-half credit course in personal economics.
You may be wondering what is personal economics? The legislature did not fully address that issue. What we know is that the course must include a financial literacy component as described in section 1165, and must cover the subject area content expectations for economics developed by the department and approved by the state board.
The Michigan Council on Economic Education is currently working with the Michigan Department of Education of better define what this law will mean for Michigan school districts. Since the personal economics course must teach the same content area expectations as any economics course, MCEE views this legislation as addressing a style of teaching more than a shift in curriculum. A course in personal economics in not the same as a course in personal finance.
Personal economics will teach economics with a focus on its application to an individual’s life. For instance, instead of teaching the theory of fiscal policy, a personal economics course may have students explore a 2014 taxpayer receipt to get a breakdown of how tax dollars are being spent on priorities like education, veterans benefits, and health care. This may be followed up by completing a sample 1040 tax form.
Sound a lot like what a good economics teacher is doing in their classes already? We agree.