Loughran Cappel’s bill aims to improve students’ financial literacy

State senator’s bill passed the Senate Education Committee this week

State Sen. Meg Loughran Cappel is pushing for legislation aimed at bolstering financial preparedness among Illinois students.

Her bill, S.B. 1830, passed through the Illinois Senate Education Committee this week, according to a news release. It would allow either one year, or a semester, of a financial literacy course to count toward the math requirement to graduate high school.

“One of the primary goals of our state’s education system is preparing students to lead fulfilling, successful adult lives,” Loughran Cappel said in the release. “Part of that is knowing what to do with your money and practicing good financial habits. These key life skills, which can be carried for a student’s entire life, deserve to be promoted in our schools.”

Loughran Cappel cited a study which found that only 41% of students who attended college said they received enough information in college to build good financial habits and only 30% said they received enough in high school. When asked what they wish they had learned more about in school, students put financial topics at the top of the list, the study found.

In order to receive a high school diploma in Illinois, students must take three years of mathematics which must include one year of algebra, one year of geometry and another year of advanced algebra or Advanced Placement computer science.

Loughran Cappel’s bill would add financial literacy to the list of courses that could count toward the requirement.

The bill will move to the full Senate for approval.

Alex Ortiz

Alex Ortiz

Alex Ortiz is a reporter for The Herald-News in Joliet. Originally from Romeoville, Ill., he joined The Herald-News in 2017 and mostly covers Will County government, politics, education and more. He earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master's degree from Northwestern University.