Legislature: Financial Management For High School Students Passes House Unanimously


The New Mexico House voted to prepare students with improved financial literacy as they enter life after high school. Classes in financial management would be required to graduate high school in legislation passed by the House today.  

Sponsored by Rep. Willie Madrid (D-Chaparral), Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas (D-Albuquerque), Rep. Meredith Dixon (D-Albuquerque), Rep. Melanie Stansbury (D-Albuquerque), and Rep. Jane Powdrell-Culbert (R-Corrales), House Bill 163 makes financial management a required course for high school graduation. The provided course must meet mathematic, academic, and performance standards, and include a basic understanding of budgets, checking and savings accounts, credit, interest, and the costs of borrowing.  

“Knowing how to balance a checkbook, manage your credit, and plan financially for your future is critical to individual and professional success,” said Rep. Madrid. “House Bill 163 ensures that students who graduate from New Mexico high schools have the tools and knowledge they need to make smart financial decisions that will impact their future.” 

“We must teach students the knowledge necessary to succeed in a complex 21st century world,” said Rep. Maestas. “It’s time to make financial management a graduation requirement so that all students have the skills to make smart decisions regarding their financial futures. These practical skills will increase household wealth, spur entrepreneurship, and help grow our economy, as well.” ` 

“Some of the most important decisions a person will make in life will be regarding their personal finances,” said Rep. Dixon. “It is vitally important for everyone to have a fundamental understanding of financial matters, as these choices greatly impact our everyday lives.”  

HB 163 passed the House with a unanimous 65-0 vote and will go to the Senate for consideration.   

The requirement for high schoolers would take effect for students entering the ninth grade, beginning in the 2021-2022 school year and after. HB 163 would also allow financial management to count as an elective for middle schoolers.   

Members of the public can track legislation on the New Mexico Legislature website, access committee meetings and House floor sessions via the Webcasts tab, or participate by Zoom to provide public comment on committee hearings. During the 2021 Legislative Session, the House of Representatives is focused on passing critical legislation while protecting the health and safety of the public, the staff, and the legislators.