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Personal finance to be required for SC high school graduation

The course comes as part of the recently-passed state budget.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina students will soon be required to take a personal finance class to graduate.

The requirement comes as part of the recently passed state budget.

The S.C. Department of Education (SCDE) is planning the course, which it says will likely be for high school students.

"Our society today calls for a good knowledge of all of the things we hope this course will offer," Katrina Goggins with SCDE said, "Financial planning, managing one's assets, being good stewards of your individual, personal resources."

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They're also working to determine what certifications educators will need to teach the course, along with pathways for students to earn the half-credit the course provides.

"What half-credit gets reallocated to personal finance?," Patrick Kelly with the Palmetto State Teacher's Association said. "I think the most likely outcome is that currently students can take up to or are required to take up to seven elective credits. They have to have seven elective credits to graduate. I think you'll see that diminished from seven to 6.5 is the most likely outcome, and then it'll be up to guidance counselors who have developed a routine for how to ensure that, over the course of four years, students take every course they need."

While the timeline is still unclear, Goggins said the course won't be available for the upcoming school year.

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Still, parents like William Smith, who has two students in Richland School District Two, are excited about the course's creation.

"Our education system now can be able to feel as if they're up to date with what is really going on in this world," Smith said. "When you have reality that teaches you, the sky is the limit."

Goggins said families will get the chance to provide input on the course before it is finalized. Details for public comment will be shared further into the course development process.

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