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Background Information on the California Personal Finance Initiative

December 13, 2023

TO: Editors, Assignment Desks, Interested Media,

FROM: Californians for Financial Education

SUBJECT: Background Information on the California Personal Finance Initiative

This week, Californians for Financial Education certified that it has surpassed the collection of more than 25% of the signatures needed to qualify the California Personal Finance Initiative for the November 2024 ballot. The pace at which Californians are signing on to this measure -- which would guarantee California High School students a personal finance course as a graduation requirement,-- is a testament to the popularity of this commonsense ballot proposition. Nearly 4 out of 5 California voters across all demographics support this change according to an August 2023 poll from Binder Research. There’s a clear and strong desire to equip every California teen, regardless of their background or economic circumstances, with the financial skills they’ll need to succeed as adults.

Though California leads the nation in many areas, it lags behind when it comes to personal finance education. The 2023 National Report Card on State Efforts to Improve Financial Literacy in High Schools released in the past week gave California an “F” saying “Under the education laws and regulations in California, a student could graduate without ever being taught substantive personal finance concepts in high school.” (PDF Attached)

In fact, only 1% of California high school students are required to take a semester class about personal finance, compared to 50% nationally. Now is the time to fix this problem by guaranteeing this course to all students regardless of their zip code or family’s socioeconomic status.

Every student deserves an equal opportunity to learn essential financial skills like budgeting, filing taxes, understanding credit scores, responsible borrowing, and how investing can create long-term wealth.

We believe this is an issue that would be of great interest to your readers, listeners and viewers. Our proponents and supporters are available for interviews to discuss the merits of this important measure, our progress on placing the measure on the ballot, and our confidence in meeting our goals of qualifying and passing this initiative on the November 2024 ballot.

Please contact Roger Salazar at (916) 284-1255 or to arrange interviews.

FACT SHEET FINAL CA Personal Finance Education Initiative 102322.docx
Download PDF • 316KB


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