Sen. Cicarella & Sen. Martin Tout Financial Literacy for High Schoolers in Legislative Public Hearing

March 9, 2023

Deputy Republican Leader Paul Cicarella (R-North Haven) and Chief Deputy Republican Leader Henri Martin (R-Bristol) yesterday touted a measure (S.B. 1165) to boost the financial literacy of high school students across the state during a public hearing of the legislature’s Education Committee.


Senator Cicarella, who also appeared before the committee, and Senator Martin provided testimony in support of the measure that would require high school students to complete a one-half credit course in personal financial management and financial literacy for graduation. Both lawmakers are co-sponsors of the bill.


The measure was originally developed by the Republican lawmakers (Proposed S.B. 18) as a part of their larger ‘A Better Way to a Prosperous Connecticut’ package of legislative workforce measures to put young people on a path to a well-paying career and best support themselves and their families.


Senator Cicarella said, “The first step of workforce development is financial literacy, understanding the value of a dollar, and the cause and effects of how you earn and spend your money. Over the past year, I’ve heard stories of local high school students that went through an exercise on budgeting. The students were shocked to realize the cost of necessities like a phone, groceries, and insurance. These young people are on the verge of adulthood and being on their own, so it is important that we impart this critical skill of financial literacy. By doing this, we can empower young people to avoid the pitfall of debt, leading the way to a prosperous future.”


Research shows that over 60 percent of Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck and struggle to save money for short-term or long-term financial goals. Credit card and student loan debt are also at historic highs, at a whopping $930.6 billion and $1.757 trillion, respectively.


Senator Martin said, “Our students must learn how to budget, create a spending plan, balance needs versus wants, understand credit, and look for the best places to save. If students do not learn how to budget, they will have lifelong challenges in living within their means, they will have challenges in saving for retirement, many simply will not know you have to save, and many will not have enough to pay their bills. Through education we can start to give hope to the hopeless and give young men and women a practical way to help their parents and their families.”


Read the lawmakers’ written testimony here.


Read the complete ‘Better Way to a Prosperous Connecticut’ workforce plan here.