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Personal finance class proposed as NC graduation requirement

Lessons would include paying for college, understanding credit scores and how mortgages and auto loans work.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — North Carolina lawmakers are working on a bill that would require high school students to pass a personal finance class before graduation and would also give teachers more power to buy their own supplies. 

Senate Republicans unveiled details of a new spending plan for the next two years. The plan calls for giving teachers a raise and gives teachers anywhere from $175 to $300 for buying supplies. The budget piggybacks off Senate Bill 580, which was introduced last month, but the amount given to teachers is reduced from the proposed $400.

State Superintendent Mark Johnson said teachers would have the power to buy supplies online using those funds or be reimbursed if they made purchases before the new year. 

"We're going to be using an app called ClassWallet," Johnson said. "That means they will be able to make purchases off of that app, or before the school year and be able to get reimbursed for purchases made in early August by using that app."

Supporters of the program say it will give teachers more power to get essential items for their students without having to pay out of pocket. Some opponents of the plan say it's simply sleight of hand by moving around funds already allocated for education spending. 

In addition to funding measures, the bill would require students to pass a personal finance and economics class for graduation. Lessons would include paying for college, understanding credit scores and how mortgages and auto loans work.

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