MSDE Personal Finance Standards

Overview of Maryland Personal Financial Literacy Education Standards


  1. Make Informed, Financially Responsible Decisions
  2. Relate Careers, Education and Income
  3. Plan and Manage Money
  4. Manage Credit and Debt
  5. Create and Build Wealth
  6. Manage Risks and Preserve Wealth

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Personal Financial Literacy Education Standards

Maryland is fortunate to lead the nation in providing a quality education for students. Our state also benefits from having a vibrant economy. As the requirements for the global economy have changed, so have the educational needs of our students. Today, more than ever before, graduates must be financially literate in order to be prepared for college, careers, and responsible living. Maryland students in all grades need to learn about personal finance in order to make wise decisions and lead prosperous lives. Thus, it is imperative that Maryland’s public schools be at the forefront in providing financial literacy education.

One of the steps our state has taken is to develop and implement the Maryland State Curriculum for Personal Financial Literacy Education. This critical initiative is a true reflection of collaboration and cooperation. I thank Delegate Dana Stein and Senator Anthony Muse for their leadership as co-chairs of the Task Force to Study How to Improve Financial Literacy Education in the State. I also want to acknowledge members of the Maryland State Department of Education’s Financial Literacy Education Advisory Council and Design Team who gave freely of their time and expertise to develop the standards. The efforts of these committees were also graciously supported by representatives of the business community, non-profit entities, higher education, and government. I am grateful to their employers for granting their time and talent to develop the state curriculum.

This document is designed to assist educators in developing and evaluating curricula that align with the standards, indicators, and objectives. The state curriculum was developed by the Design Team in cooperation with the Advisory Council and staff members from the Division of Career and College Readiness and the Division of Instruction. The curriculum, based on the Jump$tart National Standards in K-12 Personal Finance Education as well as Wisconsin’s Model Academic Standards for Personal Financial Literacy, reflects a broad definition of personal finance and includes the application of knowledge and skills that can be embedded in existing courses across the learning levels or addressed through stand-alone courses.

The current generation of students faces more financial choices than any previous generation. It is important to prepare students with the knowledge and skills to meaningfully evaluate these choices. Planning for a career, earning an income, and saving money are essential to financial success. While many school systems offer financial literacy education, it is time to expand access so that all students have a sound foundation on which to plan their future and accomplish their goals. With the implementation of the state curriculum, the next generation of graduates will leave high school better prepared for their future financial stability.