WALTON, Ky. ⁠— In fall 2020, Kentucky high schools will be required to teach financial literacy as a graduation requirement.
Even though the law was passed in 2018, Walton-Verona High School in Northern Kentucky already has a class that would meet the requirement. In fact, they have taught it for a decade.

“Getting a credit card, renting an apartment, buying a car, buying a home, saving and investing for retirement, we cover everything,” said business education teacher David Sandlin, who pushed the high school’s administration to create the personal finance class he has taught since 2009.

“It’s 100 percent one of the most important classes I've taken,” senior Travis Williamson told Spectrum News 1.
As a prior investment consultant, Sandlin brings real-world experience into the class,
such as buying and selling stocks in a stock market game where student teams compete against other high school teams in Kentucky.
“You’re not going to remember every little thing, but I want you to at least know the basics,” Sandlin said. “And know enough that when you're sitting across that table from the loan officer or from the landlord. You know, I remember learning that in class.”
Even though the current class is only a few months in, the lessons motivated sophomore Emily Place to get a job and save for a car.
“And I would have never done that. I would have spent all that money, before this class, bought a bunch of, whatever, make-up, new phone. I would have done all that,” Price explained.
Walton-Verona High School already requires the personal finance class or an economics class to graduate.
“It doesn't matter how well we do preparing them for college or career; if they can't live within their financial means, then they're not going to be successful at all,” said Assistant Principal Adam Nash.
Sandlin’s success gave him a seat on the committee to help write the financial literacy standards Kentucky high schools will teach in 2020.
Basics that Sandlin says are vital for students.
“I think that empowers them. I think it gives them a sense of confidence when they leave, and I think it helps them avoid those common pitfalls that so many people fall into at a young age,” Sandlin, who has taught for 24 years, said.

The new law does not require a specific course to meet graduation requirements. The financial literacy standards just need to be taught so Commonwealth high schools could implement them across various courses or in a single course, like Sandlin’s. Each school has the freedom to choose what works best for their students.
Like the stock market, life is unpredictable, but, with the right tools, Kentucky students will be better prepared to strategize for their future.