A new law mandating New Jersey middle schoolers learn the ins and outs of finance has been passed in part thanks to three Black women: Assemblywoman Angela V. McKnight (D), personal finance expert Tiffany "The Budgetnista" Aliche and New Jersey's acting governor Sheila Oliver (D).
According to NJ.com, the law requires all sixth through eighth graders in public schools to take lessons in "sound financial decision-making." Topics of study will include debt, credit cards, investing, saving and budgeting.
McKnight and Aliche were key to the law's success. McKnight co-sponsored the bill, and Aliche lent her expertise to the bill's language.
After the legislation passed the state Senate with a 38-0 vote and the Assembly with a 78-1 vote, Oliver signed the bill into law Thursday.
“Financial responsibility is an important acquired and learned life skill and with the increasing financial challenges millennials face, it is a skill that must be a necessary part of our educational curriculum," Oliver said.
McKnight told NJSpotlight, “Many young people go into adulthood knowing little about finances and end up making decisions that cost them in the long run. Teaching our kids early about the importance of managing their money and making sound financial decisions can prevent them from making costly mistakes and set them on the right financial path.”
Aliche celebrated the new law on Instagram, where she told the story of how she became involved with it.
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3 years ago, HISTORY was set in motion… Assemblywoman Angela V. McKnight @aswmcknight reached out to me and asked for my help with a financial literacy bill. That meeting took place at a Starucks in Dec. 2015, and yesterday after years of hard work, committee meetings, follow-ups, social media pushes, and an initial veto by our former Governor, WE HAVE A LAW! Angela is a POWERHOUSE and worked to make sure this day happened despite the many setbacks. The law takes effect during the next school year, Sept. 2019. Woot woot! -- Yesterday was super special because not every bill gets a signing ceremony. I got to see as history was made in Jersey City at President Barack Obama Elementary School when in front of my Mama, friends, children and educators, Acting Governor Sheila Oliver @ltgovoliver signed the A1414 Financial Literacy bill, into LAW, while I watched on, stage. * insert praise dance * ---- A1414 will mandate that New Jersey middle schoolers (6th through 8th graders) be taught Financial Literacy in a way that won’t disrupt the school day, but rather, add to it. In New Jersey there is already a law in place for high school. I’ve recently spoken with legislators in Texas and Maryland about bringing a similar law to those states too…Let’s make this a nationwide shift toward change! --- Early financial literacy should be an essential part of every school curriculum, because it's a critical skill needed for success in adulthood. I’m proud that New Jersey took a historic leap forward in helping our children secure a brighter future. This “Budgetnista Law” is a manifestation of why I started The Budgetnista; to help give people the tools they need to LIVE RICHER lives. #TheBudgetnista #DreamCatcherGroupFounder #BudgetnistaLaw #LIVERICHER --- Yesterday’s team: Styled: @Iamstyledbytrace Face: @artistrybybonnie Press: @Dreenawhitpr of @whitpr Video & pics: @jdhuntphotos Cheering squad: @rehmainhome and my mommy. :)
“Three years ago, history was set in motion," Aliche wrote, "Assemblywoman Angela V. McKnight reached out to me and asked for my help with a financial literacy bill. ... Yesterday after after years of hard work, committee meetings, follow-ups, social media pushes, and an initial veto by our former governor, we have a law!"
The law will go into effect immediately, and the financial literacy classes will begin in the 2019/2020 school year.
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