Financial Education Bill Clears Senate

Legislation expanding financial education in Washington’s public schools took another step forward late Thursday night ahead of today’s deadline for bills to advance. House Bill 1915, sponsored by Rep. Skyler Rude, R-Walla Walla, would both require students receive financial education and make it a high school graduation requirement. The bill was unanimously approved by the House earlier this year and received 47-1 support in the Senate.

The Senate did change the bill via an amendment by Sen. Lisa Wellman, D-Mercer Island, who serves as chair of the Senate Education Committee, which maintained the requirement for financial education to be taught but removed the high school graduation requirement element which she indicated was to ensure the schools were prepared and actively teaching the subject and that teachers had time to gain any needed certifications. House members do not share that opinion and left a lengthy implementation timeline for that work to be done ahead of the graduation requirement going into effect.

Now that the bill has passed both chambers, stakeholder will continue negotiating what a final bill should look like. Rep. Rude has indicated a strong preference for the high school graduation requirement to remain in the bill so it’s likely that the House will refuse to concur on the Senate changes and that a “conference committee” would be established which is a formal process for lawmakers from opposite chambers to formally negotiate a final product.

More to come with one week to go in the 2024 session.

Posted in Advocacy on the Move, Washington Advocacy.