Starting next year, all Kentucky high school students will be required to complete a financial literacy course before they graduate.

This graduation requirement will begin with students entering the ninth grade for the 2020-21 school year.

According to House Bill 132, the school-based decision-making council for the high school will determine the curriculum for a financial literacy class and align it with the standards set forth by the Kentucky Board of Education.

The KBE states that financial literacy is to be incorporated in the practical living/vocational studies programs, beginning at the primary level and continuing though high school. They also said financial literacy should be incorporated into the social studies curriculum wherever possible.

According to the Grayson County Board of Education, financial literacy is already being taught in all of its schools.

The board said that financial literacy has been taught in the high school for over a decade in math and business classes, and moving forward it will also be taught in other required graduation classes as well as some electives.

At the middle school level, financial literacy is taught through practical living. According to district spokeswoman Caryn Lewis, Grayson County Middle School teacher Ashley Johnson uses components of the former reality store project, working with Kindra Ewing Jones of the Grayson County Extension Office to give students a more one-on-one experience. The DECA financial literacy promotion team works with GCMS classes as well.

Economics and consumerism are included in social studies and math for elementary students; this includes teaching them about wants and needs, supply and demand and costs.

Additionally, community members from the banking and finance industries speak to all of the schools and individual classes to introduce students to checking and savings accounts, car and home loans, and investing.

According to the GCBOE, Fort Knox Federal Credit Union is piloting a software-based financial literacy program called EverFi, partnering with districts in several counties this year, which offers economic concepts tied to the real world, making financial literacy a strong focus in partnership with schools and communities.

"Fort Knox Federal Credit Union is proud to be one of the key sponsors of this exciting program. It is a big opportunity for high school students to help propel the entire state forward by achieving higher financial literacy rates," said Ray Springsteen, CEO of Fort Knox Federal Credit Union. "Our credit union is committed to helping all Kentuckians become more financially independent. Educational programs, like this one, are the first step."

The Fort Knox Federal Vault, an interactive financial literacy program, was launched recently for fourth- and fifth-grade students at Oran P. Lawler Elementary School.

According to Fort Knox Federal, this program enables students to be smart financial decision makers while they are early in their cognitive development.

Fort Knox Federal states that the program uses games to place students in real-life financial scenarios, focusing on skill building and responsible decision making.

"All our local financial institutions are very supportive of our schools and students. They often share financial information and tools with students at all levels, elementary through high school, both in individual classrooms and at school events," Lewis said.

More information and resources to teach financial litercy can be found at https://education.ky.gov/curriculum/conpro/plandcs/Pages/Financial-Literacy-and-Personal-Finance.aspx.