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Beiser sponsors bill that would expand consumer ed curriculum

From Illinois Business Journal news services

ALTON – To increase the relevance of consumer education courses for Illinois high school students, state Rep. Dan Beiser, D-Alton, is sponsoring legislation that would broaden the state’s curricular standards to include topics related to consumer debt and identity theft.

The measure has already passed the Senate and, as of this month, was awaiting debate in the House.

“One of the most important financial decisions young people make is how to pay for college or technical training,” Beiser said.

“Often people are still paying off loans even as they are buying houses and starting savings for their own children.”

Currently, topics taught in consumer education courses include financial literacy, budgeting, savings, investing, banking, simple contracts, taxes, and homeownership. Senate Bill 672, calls for giving students enrolled in those courses the opportunity to also investigate and study the growing importance of student loans, other forms of consumer debt and identity theft. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York estimates that total student indebtedness now exceeds $1 trillion.

“Students are already required to take classes in high school that help teach them basics about many of the financial decisions they will encounter in the future,” Beiser said. “However, the issues they will face in the future change regularly, so it is very important that we reevaluate and modernize our curriculum to ensure that students are getting an education that prepares them for the choices they will have to make.”

For more information on the bill, contact Beiser’s office at (618) 465-5900.

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