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New state law to require Oregon high schoolers take financial literacy, career planning classes, but many already do

(Update: Adding video, comments from Bend-La Pine Schools)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) --  New classes are coming for Oregon high school students. Students soon will be seeing two added course requirements to get their diplomas, both aimed at better preparing them for the world beyond the classrooms.

Recently, Gov. Tina Kotek signed Senate Bill 3, cosponsored by Sen. Tim Knopp, R-Bend., which adds a diploma requirement for upcoming students.

It will require high school students to take half a credit of personal finance and a half a credit of college career planning. This will be a requirement for high school students to receive their diploma, starting in four years. 

Bend-La Pine Schools Director of College and Career Readiness Stephen Duval explained Friday that this won't be a big change for many high school students, who are already receiving such instruction.  

"In reality, these are topics that we've been working on for a long time, and many of our high schools already have these features, and these topics are taught in the schools, " Duval said.

Bend-La Pine High Schools has a personal finance class, or personal finance standards taught in a social studies class. 

He said it's just a matter of finalizing and formalizing those classes onto a transcript.

In personal finance classes, students are taught about the stock market, mortgages, credit card interest and budgeting. 

"A lot of our students have really expressed a desire to learn more about personal finance, and so we've been working to meet that need and have those courses already in the high schools," he said.

 For personal finance, it's an ongoing process of making sure what's being taught aligns with the bill. And for college and career planning, there are "Future Centers" in all of the high schools.

Still, career planning isn't currently taught in a traditional class setting. 

"Just from our standpoint, we completely agree with this direction," Duval said. "All it is for us now is figuring out how do we meet the letter of the bill."

The college and career planning portion of the new requirement require some restructuring. The new diploma requirements take effect in January of 2027.

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Kelsey McGee

Kelsey McGee is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Kelsey here.


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