A new law mandating New Jersey middle schoolers learn the ins and outs of finance have been pa-ssed in part thanks to three Black women: Assemblywoman Angela V. McKnight, personal finance expert Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche and New Jersey’s acting governor Sheila Oliver. 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 pa-ssed 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 a 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.
“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 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.