Comptroller Peter Franchot joined students, teachers, parents and representatives from the local business community this week to launch his statewide petition drive for comprehensive financial literacy education for all Maryland students.
For the past several years, the Comptroller has led a bipartisan coalition calling for legislation that requires Maryland’s public school students to pass a standalone course in financial literacy in order to graduate from high school. In each of the last two years, the bills have passed the Maryland Senate but stalled in the House of Delegates. The Comptroller hopes to deliver a petition with 10,000 signatures when the General Assembly reconvenes in January, 2012.
“In light of our country’s long-term economic recession, it is essential that we provide our children with a solid foundation of financial literacy before they graduate from high school,” said Comptroller Franchot.
Currently, Talbot, Allegany, Carroll and Charles counties require students to pass a standalone course in personal finance prior to graduation. The Comptroller believes that the remaining 20 school systems should follow suit.
“Before we hand our kids a diploma and send them into the world to start building their future, we need to do everything we can to help them understand credit scores, loans, balancing checkbooks and building household budgets,” said Comptroller Franchot.
In the first days of the campaign, more than 2,500 signatures have been gathered including many from high school students. Any supporter of personal finance can sign the petition which can be found on the Comptroller’s Web site at http://www.marylandtaxes.com/comptroller/initiatives/literacy/. The Comptroller will be promoting this campaign at events around the state including the opening of a student-run bank at Parkdale High School in Prince George’s County on Monday, October 3.