CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Starting next school year, high school students in North Carolina will be required to take a personal finance class before they can graduate.
The State Board of Education approved the change Thursday at the direction of state lawmakers. The new finance course will replace one of two American history classes currently required for graduation. David Stegall, the deputy superintendent of innovation, said the change puts North Carolina more in line with the rest of the country.
"U.S. history in 47 other states is one course," Stegall told WRAL. "So we're not trying to go against the grain. We were the exception before."
Union County Rep. Craig Horn, a Republican, helped champion the finance course. He believes it will help students learn how to handle money, especially with the state's growing student debt.
Currently, North Carolina students are required to take four social studies classes to graduate: They are World History, American History I, American History II and American History: Founding Principles, Civics and Economics.
Starting next year, students will again require four social studies credits to graduate, but they will be World History, American History, Founding Principles of the United States of America and North Carolina, as well as Economics and Personal Finance.