Martha Marx


Martha Marx



May 9, 2023

State Senator Martha Marx Joins Senate Passage Of Bills Adding Financial Literacy To Graduation Requirements, Adding New Career Training Opportunities To State Workforce Programs

Today, State Senator Martha Marx (D-New London) joined the State Senate’s passage of two bills that will improve educational and skills training in Connecticut. The bills, respectively, will add personal financial management and financial literacy to high school graduation requirements in Connecticut and identify new career training opportunities through the Office of Workforce Strategy’s Connecticut Career Accelerator Program.

Senate Bill 1165, “An Act Concerning Financial Literacy Instruction,” passed the State Senate with a vote of 35-1 and now heads to the House of Representatives.

“High school students learn a lot in their studies – but we’re not teaching them some vital things they’ll need in their adult lives,” said Sen. Marx. “Financial literacy and the ability to manage your finances are lifelong skills. Students need to know them and I’m glad that through this bill they will.”

Senate Bill 869, “An Act Concerning Additional Career Training Opportunities Offered By The Office of Workforce Strategy,” passed the Senate with a 36-0 vote. It now heads to the House of Representatives.

“Speaking of skill training, I’m glad the Senate took action today to expand the opportunities available through the Connecticut Career Accelerator Program,” said Sen. Marx. “By expanding career training opportunities in new industries to aid workers across the state, we can create new pipelines connecting workers to new job training opportunities and to great-paying jobs in important state industries.”

Under Senate Bill 1165, a student will need a half of a credit of personal financial management and financial literacy in order to graduate High School. Currently, a student needs 25 total credits to graduate. Adding financial literacy to the list of credits needed does not increase the necessary credits for graduation. Adding a half credit will decrease 3 credits necessary for electives to 2.5.

Financial literacy includes banking, investing, savings, the handling of personal finance matters, and the impact of using credit cards and debit cards. The courses will be required beginning with the graduating class of 2027.

According to, over 60% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck and can’t set aside any money for short-term or long-term financial goals. It’s not just a problem affecting low-income families – 41% of Americans earning between $150,000 to $200,000 per year live paycheck to paycheck. Credit card and student loan debt are at an all-time high. And it begins with education. Financially literate individuals have an understanding of basic financial concepts and can apply those skills in their own life. The sooner students understand these concepts, the better, especially if they come from backgrounds without prioritizing financial literacy.

According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), 53% of individuals with a higher financial literacy spent less than their income, and 65% had set aside a three-month emergency fund. In comparison, 35% of individuals with lower financial literacy spent less than they earned, and 42% had a three-month emergency fund set aside. When you learn how money works at a young age, you have the necessary skills to make positive financial decisions as an adult.

Under Senate Bill 869, the Office of Workforce Strategy will be required to plan an expansion of the Connecticut Career Accelerator Program by identifying additional career training opportunities requiring a maximum of one year of training and identifying related training providers who could bolster training opportunities. This bill passed the Commerce Committee with a 17-7 vote in March.